PARIS — The war of words between Hermès International and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton reignited last week as the Paris prosecutor’s office said it would hand over a criminal complaint of insider trading to an investigating magistrate.
“We are very much encouraged by this,” Patrick Albaladejo, deputy chief executive officer at Hermès, told WWD. “We welcome an in-depth investigation to be conducted, and hopefully in a diligent way. We believe we have a strong case.”
In a statement, LVMH reiterated that the Hermès complaint, lodged last July, is “completely without foundation.”
Sources close to LVMH said the appointment of an investigating magistrate is par for the course in such cases, and the process is likely to take many months.
According to Albaladejo, “The judge decides when his investigation is complete; she has no timeline to respect.”
It is understood Hermès is accusing the world’s largest luxury conglomerate of insider trading, collusion and manipulating stock prices to amass a chunk of its share capital via cash-settled equity swaps.
LVMH in turn said it filed a suit against Hermès for “slander, blackmail and unfair competition.”
The Paris prosecutor’s office opened its preliminary inquiry into the Hermès complaint last October.
LVMH said last week its complaint would also be handed over to the investigating magistrate in hopes that it would put an end to “disloyal” and slanderous campaigns carried out by Hermès over the past two years.
LVMH surprised markets by revealing in October 2010 that it had amassed a 17.1 percent stake in Hermès via cash-settled equity swaps that allowed it to circumvent the usual market rules requiring firms to declare share purchases. It has since raised its stake to 22.6 percent, as of Dec. 31.
French stock-market regulator AMF in November 2010 launched an investigation to determine if LVMH respected market rules, which it plans to refer to its sanctions commission later this year.
“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