PARIS — Ines de la Fressange has got her name back.
A court here ruled Friday to reinstate the Ines de la Fressange brand to the former Chanel model and designer, now director and communications coordinator of the Roger Vivier shoe company.
Fressange was fired in 1999 from her namesake fashion house after majority shareholders — including François Louis Vuitton — claimed she had damaged the house’s image by designing a pillbox.
She then filed an unfair dismissal suit, which she won in 2000, along with some $220,000 in damages.
More recently, however, she also sought control of her name. She argued that the house, which operates a boutique on the Avenue Montaigne here, had violated her rights by plastering her name on “inferior” products, including dog food and carpets.
“I couldn’t stand it,” said Fressange, who still has a minority stake in her namesake business.
She said she has yet to determine her course of action but she would likely demand to reexamine the type of products bearing her name.
“I’m happy at Vivier,” said Fressange, stopping short of ruling out a comeback as a fashion designer. “But it’s embarrassing to see your name on ugly things. I’ll want to examine the licenses.”
Implications of the ruling remained unclear at press time. Fressange said she expected an appeal and neither Vuitton nor French businessman Michel Coencas — the house’s main owners — could be reached for comment.
This story first appeared in the September 20, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.