Cynthia Rowley’s landlord has sued the designer to recover more than $861,000 in unpaid rent and legal fees — although the brand said it is a subtenant who owes the rent.
Bleecker Downtown Partners and 376 Bleecker Associates filed their case against the designer in New York State Court Friday, claiming Rowley was evicted from her store at 376 Bleecker Street last week and is responsible for rent through 2021.
Rowley’s five-year lease started with monthly payments of $25,000 that grew to $27,318.18 by the end of the agreement. The suit alleges that Rowley, who personally guaranteed the lease, owed $190,826.59 in back rent and is responsible for the $646,088.10 for the remainder of the lease.
However, the designer said she sold 376 Bleecker St. and subleased out the space. “I am suing a subtenant … for nonpayment of a space in a building that I sold in 2016. I purchased a new building at 394 Bleecker Street where my store is housed now.”
The brand has a total of 10 stores listed on its web site, including another store on Bleecker Street and Palm Beach, Fla.; Montauk, N.Y.; Chicago, and Charleston, S.C.