In this week’s fashion law, American designer Rachel Roy has filed a lawsuit against the Jones Apparel Group – now merged with buyout firm Sycamore Partners – which has tried to sell her brand without her consent to Bluestar Alliance for $14.6 million.
The two began their partnership back in 2008 when Jones Apparel claimed a 50% equity in Roy’s designer fashion label. It was announced in March that The Jones Group had severed ties with Ms Roy and would not be producing her fall collection. During the initial draft of the 2008 contract, Roy allegedly claimed that the contract of sale was done in the midst of other interested parties inquiring about purchasing her assets. Rachel Roy is currently seeking to undo the 2008 contact, as well as pursing damages for lost profits and lost opportunities.
The legalese filed in the case clearly stated that Roy’s contract with the company allows the designer to maintain full creative control over her designers as well as approval rights, or the use of trademarks. Roy also claims that the licenses of those trademarks are legally in her control. Additionally, Roy stated that she would never enter into an agreement that would terminate her artistic control of her brand.
“Jones had no intention of actually partnering with Ms. Roy, but instead entered into these agreements under false pretenses, and now wrongfully seeks to take exclusive control of Ms. Roy’s brand and the trademarks.”
Even though, the Jones Apparel Group has decided to terminate their ties with Roy – as it did not fit the Jones’ overall strategic direction – the company is preserving the lower priced contemporary line, Rachel Rachel Roy, and will continue to sell it exclusively through Macy’s.
The Rachel Roy collections are available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Shoewoo and Nordstrom. Her pieces range from $18 to $395; retail pricing.
To view the full court documents, click here; Rachel Roy VS. The Jones Apparel Group
News and photo reference via WWD