FASHION LAW: GIORGIO ARMANI EX-GENERAL COUNSEL SUES BRAND
Styling updates and witty interviews by the sarcastic Cara Delevigne were once trending—now, disgruntled former general counsel’s at fashion brands seem to have taken over. For the second time in a span of four months, a law firm has filed a discrimination lawsuit for a former general counsel, and this time it involves luxury brand Giorgio Armani.
Former GC and VP of legal affairs for the fashion house Fabio Silva claims he was let go from the brand shortly after announcing he had cancer, among other reasons. Silva retaliated by then suing both the company and Giorgio Armani for discrimination and retaliation in Manhattan state court. Silva seeks more than $75 million in compensatory, and punitive damages relying on four violations pertaining to the New York City Human Rights Law.
The complaint further alleges a hostile work environment because Silva is Mexican—in one instance, an Armani finance executive is cited to have told Silva he didn’t trust Mexicans. When Silva brought the comment to the attention of other executives, “they retaliated against [Silva] for engaging in protected activities by refusing to grant him a salary adjustment.” Silva was terminated shortly afterwards.
David Sanford, general attorney in this case, comments: “There was no question about his performance. He had gotten excellent feedback in reviews. So the legal question is whether he was retaliated against because he complained about the finance executive’s comment about Mexicans.”
The fashion brand did not respond to a request for comment.