SYDNEY — Six weeks after David Jones’ chief executive officer Mark McInnes resigned in the wake of sexual harassment allegations, the Australian department store chain has been hit with a 37 million Australian dollar, or $33.8 million, lawsuit.
On Monday, David Jones publicist Kristy Fraser-Kirk, 25, filed a statement of claim in the Federal Court of Australia against McInnes, David Jones and the company’s current directors alleging that she and four other employees had been sexually harassed by McInnes.
Fraser-Kirk claims that her matter had been brought to the attention of at least three senior David Jones managers.
The statement alleges that McInnes had attempted to kiss and touch Fraser-Kirk, in addition to using sexually explicit language around her and sending a campaign of text messages and e-mails in a bid to procure sexual favours.
David Jones chairman Robert Savage, chief financial officer Stephen Goddard and new ceo Paul Zahra were all named as respondents.
“Both the company and its directors will defend the claims vigorously,” David Jones said. In the statement, the company reaffirmed its after-tax profit guidance of 5 to 10 percent for both fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 as advised on June 18.
The case is scheduled for a hearing on Aug. 30.
Fraser-Kirk alleges that an ingrained culture of sexual harassment within the company contravened her right to a safe workplace. In addition, she said David Jones engaged in deceptive and misleading conduct under the Australian Trade Practices Act when Savage downplayed her case as an isolated incident in his statement on June 18, the date of McInnes’ resignation.
Fraser-Kirk is seeking 5 percent of David Jones’ 700 million Australian dollar, or $639 million, profits during McInnes’ 2003-2010 tenure as ceo and 2 million Australian dollars, or $1.82 million, equivalent to 5 percent of his salary over the same period.
“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