Kering Denies ‘Made in China’ Claim in Lawsuit Over Eyewear Products

The Parisian luxury conglomerate Kering Group denies all of the allegations made against it in the lawsuit by US-based eyewear boutique Selima Optique on June 13. In that lawsuit, the eyeglasses retailer accused Kering S.A.—which owns Gucci, YSL and Alexander McQueen—(along with Kering Eyewear and Kering Eyewear USA) of falsely labeling as “Made in Italy” eyewear that it claims was actually made in China.

According to a spokesperson for Kering, who spoke to Jing Daily by phone, a mistake occurred in Kering’s logistics warehouse, which is situated in the Veneto region of Italy. There, Kering Eyewear collects all of its eyewear products before delivering them to their clients throughout the world.

In a follow-up statement to Jing Daily by the company, Kering went on to detail a mix-up with the group’s Puma products, which are made in China:

Puma eyewear products, that are mostly made in China and which Kering Eyewear distributes as well, receive their ‘Made in’ stamp in this same Italy-based warehouse, according to the legislation of the country where they are meant to be sold—as some countries do not require a ‘made in’ stamp. By mistake, 21 pieces of Made in Italy luxury eyewear that were already stamped ‘Made in Italy’ also received a ‘Made in China’ stamp that was dedicated to Puma frames.

Selima Optique, a long-time retailer of Kering’s luxury eyewear brands including Gucci and YSL, claimed in the complaint that Kering has been engaging in this deceitful practice since September 2016. They realized this practice in February after they received YSL eyeglasses, whose frames had labels that said both “Made In China” and “Made In Italy.”

Kering’s explanation is in line with the feedback Selima Optique says, in the complaint, that it received when they initially contacted Kering for an explanation of the discrepancy it noted on the YSL eyeglass frames, which Selima Optique described in detail in the filing document.

When reached by Jing Daily via phone, Kerry Gotlib, the attorney for Selima Optique, declined to comment.

The spokesperson for Kering also said that Kering Eyewear has already offered all of its clients who had purchased any of these 21 pieces of eyewear (including Selima Optique) the chance exchange them. Furthermore, the company “had sent all due certificates to customers demonstrating that these products are indeed Made in Italy.” “All customers,” the statement continues, “accepted the exchange except Selima Optique, who had bought one pair of glasses.”

In the statement, Kering pledges to  defend its rights firmly in the legal case.

 

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