LOS ANGELES — Seven Licensing Co., a new company formed by Tarrant Apparel Group chairman Gerard Guez, has acquired the U.S. rights to the French jeans label Seven7.
Guez acquired the label’s U.S. rights from French businessman Maurice Ohayon, who has owned the label, originally trademarked in Italy in 1978, for four years, Tarrant said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Additionally, Guez filed a counterclaim in federal court here on Tuesday against Seven For All Mankind, seeking more than $30 million in damages for trademark infringement.
Guez was traveling and could not be reached for comment. Guez’s in-house attorney, Chris Trunnell, declined to comment.
According to Guez’s statement, the Tarrant executive formed Seven Licensing Co. as a separate and distinct company from Tarrant to "increase the label’s visibility and brand recognition in the U.S. by leveraging key distributors and licensees."
Noting that the brand is available now in the U.S. through specialty stores, Guez said, "Our plan is to team up with strategic partners to help expand Seven7’s market penetration while still maintaining the label’s aura of exclusivity."
According to court papers obtained by WWD Thursday, Seven Licensing Co. filed a claim against L’Koral Inc., the Los Angeles-based owner of Seven For All Mankind jeans, alleging that L’Koral is deliberately infringing upon the Seven7 trademark. The suit requests that Seven For All Mankind be prevented from using the label on apparel in the U.S. and seeks to recover $10 million in damages from lost profits and sales exclusive of interests and costs, punitive damages of $20 million and attorney’s fees and costs related to the suit.
The countersuit is in response to a declaratory claim filed by L’Koral on Sept. 23, that asked the court to state that Seven For All Mankind does not infringe upon the Seven7 trademark. Peter Koral, co-owner of L’Koral, declined comment.
According to the counterclaim filed by Guez this week, he and Koral in August 2002 discussed "several proposals to resolve the dispute and reached an agreement in principle in that regard…. However, the counter defendants backed out of the agreement in principle and discontinued any further discussions."Guez’s trademark attorney Larry C. Russ declined to comment on the pending case.
Koral told WWD in August he is appealing a decision handed down by a French court on Feb. 18 concluding French retailer Paul and Joes infringed upon Seven7’s trademark because it carried Seven For All Mankind jeans. The original claim alleged that Seven For All Mankind jeans were actually counterfeit Seven7 goods.
In August, Koral said his brand will ship $70 million by the end of the year and that the company has no intention of changing its product, labeling or in-store presentations.
“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