NEW YORK — The New York State Department of Labor might have been a bit hasty when it included Macy’s Inc. as one of the retailers alleged to be utilizing a Queens sweatshop to produce its goods.
On July 23, state DOL officials revealed an investigation had uncovered significant labor violations at two factories allegedly manufacturing garments for Macy’s, Gap, Banana Republic, Express, Victoria’s Secret, Limited and Coldwater Creek.
But Macy’s said Tuesday that an internal investigation found the garment factory identified by the DOL was not manufacturing goods for the retailer. However, one of the factories was producing counterfeits of Macy’s private label brands, the store said.
“There is no place in Macy’s stores for goods that are manufactured by workers who are underage, underpaid or forced to work in conditions that are illegal,” said Janet Grove, vice chair of Macy’s Inc. and chairman of Macy’s merchandising group. “We have cooperated fully with the Department of Labor and applaud the department for its vigorous enforcement.”
Jin Shun Inc., a garment contractor operating out of Long Island City in Queens, is alleged to have underpaid more than 100 mostly immigrant workers by nearly $3 million in minimum wage and overtime pay since 2005. The investigation found that prior to 2005, Jin Shun Inc. operated under the name Venture 47 and allegedly withheld nearly $2.5 million in minimum and overtime wages. Officials are seeking repayment of the more than $5 million total owed to workers since before 2005. Both companies are owned by Jikai Lin and Zhang Yun Chen.
When officials raided two facilities last Wednesday morning, they tagged more than 10,000 garments with a label stating the garments were unlawfully manufactured. The garments included items for Express and the Macy’s private label brands Ultra Flirt and INC.
Macy’s said the second raided factory, operating under the name Zheng Da Inc. and also in Long Island City, was manufacturing counterfeit private label merchandise from previous seasons. The retailer also found that third-party monitors hired by Macy’s had inspected the Jin Shun factory twice in 2007 and rejected using the facility due to incomplete employment record keeping.
“This case reinforces the importance of our process for monitoring the suppliers and factories that make products sold at Macy’s,” Grove said. “The Jin Shun factory did not meet our requirements and thus was prohibited from manufacturing for our stores. Yet the experience with these Long Island City factories reminds us that we need to remain vigilant because some potential suppliers clearly are not up to the high standards we set.”
A call for comment to the NYDOL was not returned by press time.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye