WASHINGTON — The California Labor Commissioner’s office will dip into its emergency funds Wednesday to pay 239 former employees of the San Francisco-based Wins of California factories a total of $869,000 in back wages, a spokesman said...
WASHINGTON — The California Labor Commissioner’s office will dip into its emergency funds Wednesday to pay 239 former employees of the San Francisco-based Wins of California factories a total of $869,000 in back wages, a spokesman said Thursday.
It’s the latest twist in a complex sweatshop case in San Francisco that includes state and federal labor investigators, labor rights and advocacy groups, the factory owners, creditors and a court-appointed bankruptcy appointee.
At the center of the case are Jimmy Quan, Jenny Wong and Anna Wong, who owned and operated four factories — Wins of California, Win Fashion and Win Industries in America — in San Francisco, and funneled the clothes through Tomi Inc. in Utah, according to the spokesman for the state Labor office.
Wins produced clothes for such retailers as Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Bebe, Wal-Mart and the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange, the spokesman said.
Labor officials will draw from the state’s Garment Workers Fund, which is funded by a portion of garment licensing and registration fees and is used to pay employees back wages when their employers do not have available funds.
State officials will pay out checks ranging from $250 to more than $10,000 to employees Wednesday at the labor commissioner’s office. The spokesman also said officials will have to replenish the borrowed funds and there are plans to draw from a $2.1 million lien the state has on the employers’ assets.
The plight of the workers first made headlines in San Francisco in August 2001, and it has been carried on by labor rights group Sweatshop Watch and the Chinese Progressive Association. The groups had turned up the pressure on the U.S. Department of Labor in the past few months, claiming Labor Secretary Elaine Chao reneged on promises to expedite payments to the workers.
State and federal investigators initiated an investigation of Wins in July. A number of state and federal actions were filed against the company, which subsequently filed for bankruptcy and is no longer in business, according to the state Labor spokesman.
It is still unclear what will happen to an escrow account of $420,000 federal investigators collected from the Wins employers, which was at the heart of the labor rights and advocacy group’s complaints. The escrow account has been tied up in litigation in federal court as Wins’ creditors attempt to lay claim to the money.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)