Chico’s FAS Inc. and its White House|Black Market Inc. division believe Caché Inc. attempted to add to its cachet illegally.
The retailer has accused two former employees, Rabia Farhang and Christine Board, of supplying Caché, their subsequent employer, with confidential information and trade secrets.
The defendants were WH|BM merchandise managers until the fall and allegedly provided rival women’s apparel retailer Caché with product design and developmental plans regarding WH|BM’s seasonal lines through this year, according to court papers filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court.
WH|BM asserted that Farhang, currently Caché’s executive vice president and general merchandise manager, and Board, a senior merchant, were “intimately involved in the conceptualization and development of WH|BM’s 2010 spring, summer and fall seasonal lines, including color palettes, themes and prints, designed styles and outfits.”
Charges against the retailer and the two merchants include breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, theft-conversion and breach of fiduciary and other legal duties.
The plaintiff has requested a jury trial and is seeking unspecified compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs and punitive and exemplary damages.
In the event of a guilty verdict, WH|BM is looking for a recall of all garments in the New York-based retailer’s spring and summer lines that were “directly or indirectly” derived from confidential, proprietary and-or trade secret information. WH|BM also asked that its competitor stop designing, manufacturing, marketing, distributing and selling any garments in its fall line, or any line thereafter, derived from the alleged confidential information.
Additionally, the Fort Myers, Fla.-based firm has demanded the defendants “make appropriate corrective disclosure to industry professionals and financial analysts” of their actions.
Calls seeking comment from Caché were not returned by press time.
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