NEW YORK — The dog days of summer might be drawing to a close, but a heap of trademark and shareholder lawsuits will keep the courts busy this fall.
A shareholder lawsuit was filed on behalf of Avon Products Inc. against the company's officers and directors for actions that allegedly hurt the company's financial standing and its reputation. Robert L. Garber filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court against the beauty firm's management, alleging breach of fiduciary duties, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of corporate assets and unjust enrichment. The complaint, filed Aug. 18, alleges that Avon's officers and directors conspired to conceal the company's misrepresentation of its true financial results, particularly in its overseas businesses.
This case follows two other similar shareholder lawsuits filed earlier this month that sought class-action status. All three lawsuits allege that Avon deceived investors by issuing positive statements about its performance earlier this year, despite awareness that there was resistance to its expansion efforts abroad and that revenue growth in Central and Eastern Europe was lower than forecast. Avon did not return a call seeking comment.
Parties named in the most recent complaint include: Andrea Jung, chairman of the board and chief executive officer; Susan J. Kropf, president and chief operating officer, and Robert J. Corti, executive vice president and chief financial officer. Company directors named in the lawsuit were: Fred Hassan, Ann S. Moore, Edward T. Fogarty, Maria E. Lagomasino, W. Don Cornwell, Stanley C. Gault and Paula Stern.
One of the earlier shareholder lawsuits also named Jung, Kropf and Corti as parties, but did not include the board.
In other legal news, Ripley Entertainment Inc. filed a trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition lawsuit in July against Lands' End Inc. for the clothing retailer's alleged use of the company's "Believe it or not!" trademark on the cover of a catalogue.
The lawsuit asked for a permanent injunction against Lands' End's use of the phrase. Ripley Entertainment also asked for unspecified monetary damages, according to the court documents. Lands' End declined to comment, citing a longstanding company policy concerning litigation.
Meanwhile, Lucky Brand Dungarees Inc. and its parent company, Liz Claiborne Inc., recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Ally Apparel Resources LLC, which does business as: Get Lucky, Key Apparel Resources Ltd., Marcel Fashion Group Inc. and Ezra Mizrachi. According to the court document, the defendants allegedly manufactured and sold jeanswear and sportswear under the Get Lucky trademark.The documents alleged, "Ally's Get Lucky jeanswear and sportswear products have caused consumer confusion as to its source and are likely to cause greater consumer confusion in the future."
Lucky Brand Dungarees and Liz Claiborne have asked for a preliminary and permanent injunction against the defendants, as well as for unspecified damages. The parties being sued in the case either declined to comment or could not be reached.
Last week, Cartier, a division of Richemont North America, and Cartier International B.V. filed lawsuits against two unrelated parties for adding diamonds to genuine watches.
One lawsuit, filed against Bertone Group and Jackie Bertone, alleged five counts including trademark infringement and false designation of origin. In response to the lawsuit, Jackie Bertone said he found the case "ridiculous." Bertone, who runs an automotive leasing company, said he is not a jeweler and has only offered one Cartier watch for sale online.
The other lawsuit was filed against SK Trading Company LLC and alleged six counts, including trademark infringement, false designation of origin and federal dilution.
The complaint alleged that the company added diamonds to stainless steel Cartier watches in imitation of more expensive watch brands. SK Trading Co. was unavailable to comment by press time.
There has been a spate of cases this summer about altering genuine Cartier products making their way through the courts. Cartier contends that adding diamonds to its watches has a detrimental effect on the image of its brand, and has vowed to continue its efforts to fight unauthorized alterations of its products, according to a statement from Frederic de Narp, president and ceo of Cartier North America.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)