IT MUST HAVE SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA…: What do Max Azria, his company BCBG Max Azria Group, Playboy, condoms, Carrefour and Wal-Mart have in common? They are all mentioned in a rather strange $220 million lawsuit against Azria and BCBG filed Thursday in a Los Angeles state court. The complaint was filed by Jimmy Esebag, Camden Healthcare and United Medical Devices in connection with a proposed transaction that involved Playboy condoms, whereby BCBG allegedly would acquire the Playboy license and try to get the condoms sold at Wal-Mart and Carrefour. The transaction never materialized.
The nine-complaint suit, which includes fraud and breach of contract claims, alleges that Azria misrepresented BCBG’s financial health and refers to the designer as a “narcissistic braggart with a sense of grandeur and self-importance that has little relationship to reality.” The plaintiffs are seeking actual and exemplary damages and other relief the court may deem proper.
This story first appeared in the April 20, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
While Thursday’s suit generated lots of press attention, it isn’t the first time Esebag and Azria have legally tangled. According to a spokeswoman for BCBG, the parties were participants in arbitration in a related matter filed in March 2011. “Max was victorious in the prior arbitration relating to this matter, and we are confident he will also be victorious in the present lawsuit,” she said.