PANTS SUIT: L’Koral Inc., the Los Angeles-based maker of Seven For All Mankind jeans has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against Lane Bryant, alleging unfair competition and false advertising by the plus-size retailer. Lane Bryant began carrying a line of denim jeans last December called Seven7, made by Tarrant Apparel Group, in about 50 stores and on its Web site. Tarrant’s chairman, Gerard Guez, acquired the U.S. license for the Seven7 label from French businessman Maurice Ohayon in 2002. L’Koral alleged Lane Bryant is carrying the Seven7 jeans “with the goal of confusing its customers into believing [the] jeans are affiliated” with Seven For All Mankind, a $130 million contemporary label. Officials at Bensalem, Pa.-based Charming Shoppes, parent to Lane Bryant, declined to comment on the complaint.

TROUBLES FOR WET SEAL: The Wet Seal Inc. said on Tuesday that the Pacific Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an informal, nonpublic inquiry into certain events connected with the retailer’s second-quarter earnings announcement between Aug. 5 through Aug. 19 last year. The company reported a $102.8 million loss on Aug. 19. Wet Seal said the SEC also requested documents relating to the sale of the company’s stock by La Senza Corp. and some of its affiliates. That announcement, in which La Senza said it was selling its 3.1 million shares of Wet Seal, was made in July. Irv Teitelbaum, La Senza’s chairman and chief executive, stepped down as Wet Seal’s chairman in August. A series of lawsuits were filed by shareholders in September, partly alleging violations of applicable SEC rules. La Senza was included as a party defendant. These lawsuits were consolidated into a class action complaint that has been filed in a Los Angeles federal district court. Wet Seal said it “fully intends to cooperate with the SEC.”

This story first appeared in the February 9, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.