Carolina Herrera Filing Suit Against Oscar de la Renta


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2016 is a year that will probably be long-remembered for huge, eye-popping headlines. Naturally, it comes as no surprise to see a few more finish out the year for good measure before we progress into 2017 and leave the past year of history behind us.

One such example features two iconic names  in fashion as a lawsuit has been filed by Carolina Herrera Ltd. as she seeks to stop Oscar de la Renta’s hiring of designer Laura Kim.

Having co-founded the Monse brand with Fernando Garcia, Kim was expected to become one of la Renta’s co-creative director’s alongside Garcia after having turned down another offer from Herrera. She was previously the vice president at the brand before declining the position of senior vice president of design in addition to a $1 million salary.

“Carolina Herrera is pleased the court today granted a temporary restraining order that upholds the non-compete agreement we signed with our former senior designer. As the court ruled, the non-compete agreement was fair and plainly worded. At all times, Carolina Herrera was faithful to the letter and spirit of our agreement, and we will continue to ethically and forcefully protect our business interests. Our focus remains on continuing to introduce new collections that embody the spirit of timeless elegance and refinement for which Carolina Herrera is known,” stated Carolina Herrera Ltd. in a statement last Wednesday.

The suit before the Supreme Court of the state of New York specifically aims to postpone Kim’s hiring until this coming April. Barring this coming to fruition, the designer’s first collection with her new brand would be expected this February at New York Fashion Week with fall 2017 offerings.

This also comes at an interesting time for the Herrera brand, celebrating their 35th anniversary. Competition between both fashion houses is nothing new either, making Kim’s long working relationship with la Renta himself before leaving for Herrera the focal point of the dispute. Both her and Garcia had served as consultants for Carolina Herrera Ltd. since October 2015 following Kim’s departure from Oscar de la Renta.

According to an affidavit from Kim’s lawyer, there were discussions at the turn of the calendar year of her assuming the role of creative director with Herrera transitioning out. It goes on to state that it became apparent this had not been discussed with Herrera herself, who believed Kim and Garcia would be joining her in assuming the position’s responsibilities. During this time, Kim was even referred to as a consultant by many within the brand while standing as their main designer.

Leading to her resignation on July 8th, Kim then realized the working conditions were “untenable and unworkable” according to the affidavit. She would then join la Renta with Garcia in September, receiving a letter from Carolina Herrera Ltd. invoking their six-month non-compete agreement.

The story should continue to develop as we move closer and closer to New York Fashion Week this coming February.

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