A federal court in New York dismissed the case late Friday, after Selima agreed to end its claims, likely in response to a recent barrage of filings made by Kering arguing that allegations of its luxury eyewear being stamped “Made in Italy” while possibly being manufactured in China are “demonstrably false.”
The stipulation of dismissal for the case made clear that there is no settlement agreement at work, as is often the case when litigation ends in earlier stages. Both parties said Kering has “not provided any consideration in connection with this dismissal, including, without limitation, any payment or agreement to take or forebear from taking any action.”
A Kering spokeswoman confirmed the dismissal but declined to comment. A representative of Selima could not be reached.
The lawsuit goes back to June, when Selima filed a proposed class-action complaint accusing Kering of operating a “bait-and-switch scheme” with eyewear for brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Brioni, Tomas Maier and Stella McCartney. The retailer said Kering “egregiously” used “Made in Italy” labels on its eyewear, despite all the various parts of the sunglasses being made in China and then “at best” shipped to Italy for assembly.
This accusation sprung from a single incident of Selima receiving a pair of YSL eyeglass frames with “Made in Italy” stamped on one side and the other stamped “Made in China.”
Selima contacted Kering about the stamp, and the company attributed it to a manufacturing mistake, saying the part of the frame with the China label was meant for a style of Puma sunglasses, which are made in China. This did not satisfy Selima, which argued it had “no way” to determine what products were actually made in Italy.
Kering immediately denied all of the accusations and later told the court that it “explained to the plaintiff prior to the filing of this action, but for a few minor exceptions, all of the defendants’ luxury eyewear products, including those at issue here, are made in either Italy, France or Japan.”
It further explained that the labeling mistake affected 21 pieces of Italian-made eyewear split between a small number of wholesale customers, and that an offer was made for exchange at no charge, along with certificates of origin for each unit.
“Defendants’ other wholesale accounts readily understood the mistake and exchanged the mislabeled units,” Kering said in a July dismissal push. “Plaintiff, on the other hand, responded by demanding compensation and threatening to file a class-action lawsuit and ‘arrange for a press conference at the time of filing.’”
Around that time, Selima said in a letter to the court that it was “prepared to explore possible resolutions.”
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