FASHION LAW: VERA WANG IS TARGETED BY HAWAIIAN BOUTIQUE GEMMON LLC.
If the wedding industry is known for keeping the peace, we haven’t seen it. No one is 100% safe from the wedding stress, not even for notorious wedding dress designer, Vera Wang, has been the target for a New York State Supreme court lawsuit. Levied by Hawaiian “Wang-centric” retailer Gemmon LLC, the subpoena claims that Vera Wang’s decision to collaborate with low-end markets, like Kohl’s, David’s Bridal, and even Costco, has devalued the prestigious brand and forced the small hotel boutique to close in 2008. According to Gemmon, the deals offering cheaper alternatives, like Simply Vera, have lowered sales on their couture lines essentially putting more money in low-markets’ pockets and less in the small boutique’s.
Boutique owner, Donna Bebber, signs a contract in 2005 to sell Vera Wang in the Halekulani Hotel exclusively; it even leads to the construction of a Vera Wang honeymoon suite to complement. Unfortunately the boutique goes out of business in less than halfway into their lease prompting the rebranding of the romantic suite into the Halekulani Suite. During the brink of their closure in 2007, Gemmon attempts to reach out to Vera Wang Bridal House Ltd. to support a trunk show in order to boost sales, but has been declined new merchandise due to their outstanding balance.
VWBH states that the exclusive contract with Gemmon does not bar the company from making deals with other retailers, and claiming that Bebber’s own inexperience has run the boutique into it’s finish. In addition to mismanagement, Bebber hires her daughter who is as qualified as her mother.
So far there hasn’t been any official statements from VWBH attorneys; we’ll keep you in the loop.