Executives at Burlington Coat Fact-ory are miffed about the negative publicity they are dealing with for unknowingly selling coats with designer labels glued on to less expensive ones. The Levy Group, which supplied the mislabeled Perry Ellis and Joseph Abboud men’s top coats and raincoats, has taken full responsibility.
Once alerted to the problem following a consumer-sparked investigation in Connecticut by WFSB, a CBS affiliate, Burlington Coat Factory conducted its own national investigation and is in the process of pulling the entire shipment of men’s wool coats from its stores. The Levy Group, which holds the license for Perry Ellis and Joseph Abboud, “immediately took the blame” and agreed to take the entire order back, according to Gary Graham, senior vice president of marketing for the 408-unit Burlington chain. Perry Ellis and Joseph Abboud labels had been ironed on Wal-Mart’s private label, George, and Macy’s private label, Alfani.
Graham estimated that mislabeled coats accounted for 25 percent of the shipment, or less than half of 1 percent of the chain’s total coat inventory. Rather than weed through the offerings to find the fraudulent ones, Burlington Coat Factory executives asked to return all the remaining merchandise to The Levy Group, which immediately complied.
“It’s not our job to decide which ones have problems and which ones don’t. This is not something we would check for — we buy hundreds of thousands of coats a year,” Graham said. “We’re kind of the first victim here, and Perry Ellis and Joseph Abboud are the second and third ones.”
Levy Group president Donald Levy said, “A guy working for a newly acquired division took it upon himself without the knowledge or consent of The Levy Group to put labels on those coats. We certainly don’t condone it. As soon as we heard about it, we had the coats removed from the stores.”
Perry Ellis International, an $864 million operation, is working with The Levy Group to make sure safeguards are in place to avoid such future incidents, said Francisco Hoffmann, vice president of investor relations and strategic initiatives. “We want to stress The Levy Group is being very cooperative. We believe this was an honest mistake or oversight,” he said.
However, Perry Ellis is reserving the right to take legal action, should the commitment The Levy Group made to the company not be fulfilled, Hoffmann said.
JA Apparel, which owns the Joseph Abboud trademark, also is weighing its legal options, according to Marty Staff, chief executive officer.
Shoppers who purchased mislabeled merchandise can return their coats to the chain for a full return and a 20 percent discount for a future purchase. Burlington Coat Factory will continue to do business with The Levy Group, but Graham said, “We’re exploring our options.”
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