NEW YORK — A year-old lawsuit between Oleg Cassini Inc. and the Chip Rieger Licensing Co. may be coming to a head.

This story first appeared in the July 12, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The two companies are fighting over commissions Rieger Licensing contends Cassini has failed to pay for the last five years. Rieger in 1995 set up a licensing agreement between Wilk Shirt Corp., a manufacturer, and Cassini, according to papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court. Wilk Shirt was to send royalties to Cassini based on sales, and Rieger would receive a commission equal to 5 percent of the royalties. Some payments of commissions were made, but none since May 1999, the documents show.

Rieger Licensing has obtained a subpoena to review the records from Wilk Shirt for an accounting of sales.

“We’re in the discovery process and moving to a trial, if it isn’t settled,” Mitchell K. Aaron, attorney for Rieger Licensing, said Friday. Rieger Licensing is suing Cassini for no less than $75,000 in commissions.

Cassini’s attorney, Vincent Reppert, could not be reached for comment by press time.

Jack “Chip” Rieger, a pioneer in the wholesale and licensing arena instrumental in making the Izod Lacoste brand among the first fashion status symbols, died in March 2003. His corporation exists but is not actively engaged in business, other than to try to collect the money it says it is owed by Cassini. His widow, Terre Simpson, who runs Simpson Associates, an executive search firm, is an officer of Chip Rieger Licensing and would decide how to disburse any commissions collected.

— David Moin