NEW YORK — Score another win for the House of Versace.
A Manhattan federal court has granted Gianni Versace SpA’s request to bar Alfredo Versace from using the famed family name in connection to goods or services because of repeated violations of an existing preliminary injunction.
The latest legal round is part of an ongoing dispute dating back to 1996. Four years ago, Gianni Versace SpA, based in Milan, obtained a preliminary injunction barring Alfredo Versace, a New York designer, from using the marks of the Milan-based design house. Alfredo, however, was allowed use of his name, but with certain restrictions.
In March 2000, he was held in contempt for violating the terms of the preliminary injunction. Alfredo was alleged to be in contempt of the injunction through continuing infringing activity in watches, jeans, a new men’s wear business venture and even "Versace" branded cigarettes sold in Russia and Macau. Court documents said some items were either sold in the U.S., or marketed overseas and then shipped here, all in violation of the injunction.
In a decision by District Court Judge Peter Leisure, the court determined that Alfredo "has been involved in a clothing venture with L’Abbligiamento [Paolo Vista Ltd.] using infringing marks and failing to use the disclaimer. The record shows that this enterprise includes signs, catalogs and clothing that violate the preliminary injunction."
Alfredo was ordered to produce to Gianni Versace and to the court a detailed statement of all net profits he derived from licensing and sales throughout the world from Feb. 4, 1998.
Furthermore, the court said it "finds that Alfredo Versace’s violations were willful, because Alfredo Versace should have had cause to doubt the legality of his actions, especially in light of this court’s earlier contempt citation for many of the same activities."
A spokesman for Versace said: "We are very pleased with the court’s decision."
The spokesman added that the design house will continue to monitor alleged infringing activities and take appropriate action. One concern made clear in court papers is customer confusion. Exhibits submitted to the court show, either on Web sites selling the offending merchandise or on receipts of goods sold, instances in which an Alfredo product is referred to as just "Versace."The design house and Alfredo have also been battling over the latter’s claim that there is a family connection between the two. In an interview with WWD four years ago when the legal brouhaha arose, Alfredo said he and Gianni were cousins but couldn't specify the familial connection. He noted they were both born in Como, Italy.
Brian Holzberg, Alfredo’s counsel, declined comment because he hasn’t yet seen the decision. Holzberg is Alfredo's fifth legal counsel in the case.
“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