MY NAME IS OSCAR: Oscar de la Renta Ltd. has resolved a dispute with an El Monte, Calif.-based firm called De Oscar Group Inc. that was infringing on its trademark.
Jeffry Aronsson, chief executive officer at the New York-based de la Renta, first learned in August that the California company was using the De Oscar Collection, De Oscar Group and Oscar name on labels for eveningwear. He immediately retained California counsel specializing in intellectual property, trademark and copyright matters to press the company’s trademark infringement claim.
Aronsson said formal litigation was only avoided when the “De Oscar” parties unconditionally agreed in writing to immediately stop using any trademark or business name which could be confused with Oscar or Oscar de la Renta. If they don’t abide by this agreement, Oscar de la Renta can get an injunction against them. De la Renta can also recover all damages and attorney’s fees.
“We regard our trademarks and the good will associated with them as our most valued assets,” Aronsson said. “We obviously prefer to resolve disputes without resorting to litigation. But…we will aggressively enforce and protect our trademarks to the maximum extent that the law allows.”
Meanwhile, designer de la Renta continues to push his name in Asia with the opening this month of two boutiques in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A 1,000-square-foot shop in the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Plaza Indonesia features de la Renta’s women’s ready-to-wear, intimate apparel and accessories lines. The second, a 900-square-foot store in the upscale Senayan Plaza, houses de la Renta’s Italian-made Pour Homme line of men’s apparel and accessories.
Both shops are operated as a joint venture with PT Inti Fashindo International, a holding company that represents commercial sites in the Far East.
Other Asian sites where de la Renta might open additional shops include Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. He already has a freestanding unit at the Regent Hotel in Hong Kong and an in-store shop at the Lane Crawford department store there.
BUYING OUTERWEAR: Lori Sobel has been named buyer of junior and contemporary outerwear at The Doneger Group, a New York buying office. Sobel had been the buyer for plus-size outerwear at Petrie Stores.
A spokeswoman said the outerwear buyer post had been vacant for about 10 months. Paula Anel, an associate buyer at Doneger, had been handling the responsibilities. Sobel reports to Gary Fritschi, merchandise manager for outerwear.
MIAMI KNITS: Toula, a Miami-based knitwear manufacturer, is launching a new division next month called Eric Steven, aimed at a young, price-conscious consumer.
The collection will focus on a washable, machine-produced knit, designed for more volume production than the handknit cut-and-sew Toula line. The 40-piece line will feature more casual styling than the embellished, special occasion focus of Toula.
Two-piece dressing includes fitted jackets and short skirts, with details such as animal print and houndstooth trim. Eric Steven wholesales for $80 to $100, compared to Toula’s $175 to $350 price range.
Eddie Wang, Toula’s president, said the growing demand for knit products inspired him to produce the new line. Wang projected first-year sales of $2.5 million. He said Toula had sales of about $3 million for the year ended May 31, a 50 percent increase over the previous year.
Ed Shroads, misses’ sportswear buyer for Jacobson’s in Winter Park, Fla., said, “We do very well with Toula for a more mature customer, but there’s definitely a need for knit dressing for a younger, more updated customer.”