IN THE CLUTCH: Leather-goods maker Perrin Paris has filed a lawsuit against luxury sportswear firm Philipp Plein, requesting an injunction and significant damages for infringing its so-called “glove-clutch,” a design-patented model that the French firm describes as a marriage between its glove-making heritage and modern chic. The suit is pending at a court in Hamburg, Germany, Perrin Paris said.
Perrin Paris alleges that the Lugano, Switzerland-based firm known for its bejeweled leather and crystal-studded knits copied its Eiffel model glove-clutch. “It’s the exact duplicate, same size, same design, same concept — the hand receiving portion of our bags that we design-patented. They only added a skull,” said Michel Perrin, whose great-great grandmother founded the company in Saint-Junien with gloves as its core business.
Julie Macklowe carried the Philipp Plein clutch on the red carpet at the Met Gala in May.
“In the beginning, we contacted Philipp Plein out of court asking him to stop selling it. We were given the impression that they would remove it from distribution. But recently, we realized that they were continuing to sell them in their outlet stores, at a discounted price,” Perrin explained.
Before the defense was due in court, he said, the German firm contacted Perrin Paris asking for a settlement offer, which the French company provided. The deadline for Philipp Plein to make its own offer was last week, and none was received. “We’re now entering into a legal phase, with two goals: one, to have them remove the bags from their distribution; two, to get a compensation — a percentage of the sales they generated with the clutch. They probably sold between 1,000 and 2,000 clutches in their 80 stores and few hundred resellers,” the executive added.
Philipp Plein was unavailable for comment.
A glove-clutch from Perrin Paris is priced at around $1,850. “It’s the heart of our business,” Perrin said of the Eiffel glove-clutch, noting that the model accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the house’s sales.
Following the opening of its third freestanding store stateside earlier this month (in Woodbury Common, after Beverly Hills and New York), Perrin Paris plans to open a store in Tokyo, its first in Japan, in late April. The company also has units and stores in Paris, Hong Kong and Kuwait City.