Kering has denied allegations that various sunglasses it labels and advertises as “Made in Italy” are fully or partly “Made in China.”Selima Optique Inc., a luxury sunglass and eyewear boutique with several stores in New York City and France, last week hit Kering, its subsidiary Kering Eyewear and its executives Antonio Bortuzzo and Ken Liming, with a proposed class action lawsuit in New York federal court alleging sunglasses manufactured by the company are falsely advertised as “Made in Italy.”A Kering spokeswoman denied the allegations in their entirety, and said "Kering Eyewear luxury products are made in Italy and are labeled in compliance with all applicable law."The boutique, which purchases eyewear from Kering wholesale, pointed to brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Brioni, Tomas Maier and Stella McCartney.While Selima accused Kering of “egregiously” using “Made in Italy” labels, the boutique said “at best” all the various parts of the sunglasses are made in China and then shipped to Italy for assembly.Under Italy’s 2009 “Made in Italy Law,” in order to be labeled as made in the country, a product has to be entirely made in Italy, including planning, manufacturing and packaging. Companies are also are not allowed to “lead a consumer to believe that the product or goods originate from Italy... without their being accompanied by specific, clear indications as to foreign provenance or origin,” according to the complaint.“Wholesale customers and retail consumers, who pay a premium for Italian made products especially those carrying designer labels such as Yves Saint Laurent, are falling victim to a deceitful bait-and-switch scheme by defendants, who are selling eyewear that are actually manufactured in China, while bearing the stamp ‘Made in Italy,’” Selima argued. “Defendants’ misleading packaging and labeling are exacerbated by an overall marketing campaign, online and in print, that mislead wholesale customers as well as the consuming public to believe that their products are made in Italy.”Selima also manufactures and sells its own branded line of eyewear and often collaborates with design houses for special editions, and so claims that it’s not only been damaged by Kering’s actions as a wholesale customer, but as a competitor as well.The boutique said it first became aware of Kering’s alleged manufacturing practice in October, when it received a package of YSL eyeglass frames and its head of merchandising noticed one side of the frame was stamped “Made in Italy” and the other was marked “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.“[Kering] did not explain why a temple that is stamped ‘Made In China’ belonging to a pair of sunglasses that is purported to be made in China would inexplicably end up in an Italian factory,” Selima noted.Although the boutique admitted that it would like to continue purchasing from Kering in the future, it said without court action, there is “no way to determine... whether the products sold by defendants are genuinely made in Italy.” Based in Veneto, Italy, Kering Eyewear was created in 2016 in order for the French conglomerate to control the entire value chain of its eyewear business, previously operated under a licensing model.Selima is also accusing Kering of unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. It’s also looking to certify a class of wholesale customers and competing eyewear retailers to pursue unspecified damages.In March, Kering Eyewear said it would take over the development, production and distribution of Cartier eyewear, marking its first license deal with a brand outside the group.As part of the strategic partnership, Cartier parent Compagnie Financière Richemont took a 30 percent stake in Kering Eyewear. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.Kering Eyewear also absorbed the Manufacture Cartier Lunettes plant in Sucy-en-Brie, France.For More, See:Aéropostale Launches Bankruptcy Court Fight for $1.4M DepositNike Altering Global Footprint, Cutting WorkforceAgent Provocateur Pushes OK of $1.1M Sale of U.S. AssetsAdidas, Asics Open to Settlement in Tech Patent Fight
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.