MILAN — News of Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli being investigated for unfaithful earnings declaration by Italy’s tax authorities was refuted by their lawyers on Friday.
“At the moment, as far as we know, nobody is under investigation,” said Stefano Simontacchi, together with Guido Alleva, who consulted with the fashion designer and Bertelli, chief executive officer of Prada Group, on a voluntary disclosure made to the Italian tax office last year.
A well-placed legal source told WWD that Bertelli and Prada last year paid 470 million euros, or $643.9 million at current exchange, to the tax office. “It’s an enormous sum, Prada and Bertelli themselves advised on the existing tax anomalies, brought back the [legal headquarters of the] company to Italy and paid the backed-up taxes,” said the source. “A first relation from the Agenzia delle Entrate [Italy’s internal revenue service] arrived to the prosecutors but there is no precise information on who is being investigated, and prosecutors are taking their first steps in analyzing the papers.” The source said neither Bertelli nor Prada, nor anyone else at the group, has received any communication of investigation.
Simontacchi and Alleva said that, since the amount referring to the voluntary disclosure paid to the Agenzia delle Entrate “exceeded the limit that is penally relevant,” the state’s prosecutor’s office was automatically notified “as foreseen by the law referring to omitted or unfaithful (tax) declaration.”
A legal source said any transaction with Italy’s tax office starting from a sum as low as 100,000 euros, or $137,000, is declared to the prosecutors. Incidentally, one of two prosecutors involved in looking at the Prada paperwork is Gaetano Ruta, who has also been working on the Dolce & Gabbana and Matteo Marzotto tax cases.
Prada and Bertelli’s lawyers said that, “in any case, the new regulations concerning voluntary disclosure that are expected to be ratified should be applicable to this case, with a consequent de-penalization.”
The Italian government is aiming at passing a law that will promote voluntary disclosures. Even if anyone were to be investigated, this could bring a financial fine and not any penal consequence, said the Prada lawyers.
The legal source said many issues remain unresolved by “the impact of this law that has not passed yet.”
According to a source, the Agenzia delle Entrate had contested that Prada Holding BV had allegedly set up subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Luxembourg for a more favorable tax rate and only formally, but that they were not really operative out of that country. In December, Prada announced “the completion of a voluntary disclosure procedure, which follows the company’s strategic decision to choose Italy as its business hub.”
This, said the company at the time, followed “a collaboration program with the Italian Tax Authorities that started back in 2008, whereby the Group’s Italian subsidiary, which is not involved in the procedure, applied for several international rulings.”
Collaborating with the Italian tax authorities allowed for the group to determine all tax obligations following the repatriation of non-Italian companies, based on the last 10 years.
“As a result of this procedure — which will hopefully set a relevant precedent in the enforcement of voluntary disclosure rules currently under discussion — after repatriation, the corporate structure will be further rationalized, i.e., only the holding companies required to suitably perform corporate governance will remain,” said the company at the time.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews