NEW YORK -- The Gitano Group Inc., its top officers, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have been named in a class action lawsuit here for allegedly withholding information to pump up Gitano stock.
The suit, which was filed by Gitano shareholder Robert McCruden in federal court, charges Gitano and Wal-Mart with "systematic misstatement and material omission...of material facts relating to Gitano, including the financial condition and present and future business prospects." The stock had been trading during the time of the complaint at about $2 a share, the suit points out.
The suit was filed on behalf of anyone who purchased Gitano stock between April 5, 1993, and Jan. 24, 1994.
The complaint said that the purpose of concealing the information was to "artificially inflate the market price of Gitano's common stock."
Wal-Mart, the suit said, is culpable for failing to inform the public that its policy of not dealing with companies committing criminal violations would prevent it from doing business with Gitano.
It noted that when Gitano said it would be in position to "return to profitability in 1994," it "recklessly disregarded" the fact that its biggest customer, Wal-Mart, would no longer be a client because of Gitano's import violations.
"The Gitano defendants knew that without Wal-Mart's business, Gitano would be in a precarious financial position and imminently confronting the threat of bankruptcy," according to the complaint.
As noted, Gitano filed for Chapter 11 March 1 after Fruit of the Loom offered $100 million for the company. The bid was insufficient to pay off Gitano's $130 million in secured debt.
In addition to Gitano and Wal-Mart, the action names as defendants Gitano's top executives, including Robert E. Gregory, chairman and chief executive officer, and the secured lending syndicate which, court papers state, "controlled [Gitano's] assets and operations at all relevant times."
Wal-Mart officials could not be reached for comment.
A spokesman for Gitano said the company was not aware of the complaint and could therefore not comment.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast