Kitson has issued CocoPerez an exclusive statement about the lawsuit filed against them by the licensee of Winter Kate, Majestic Mills.
The Los Angeles boutique tells us:
Although Kitson adores Nicole Richie and has helped escalate her career with the support of her book signings, filming of numerous episodes of The Simple Life and promoting her continuously successful jewelry collection by Pascal Mouawad, we feel the launch of her clothing collection, Winter Kate, had a lot of growing pains that often come along with any new designer collection.
We purchased an excess of $250,000 of Winter Kate, which Majestic Mills, the licensee of Winter Kate was happy to receive and we need to return an excess of $200,000 worth of Winter Kate to Majestic Mills. They were written on Kitson Purchase Orders which are stringent in these economic times and are a binding contract. Kitson has to protect itself as clothing manufacturer's goods often come ill-fitted, poor quality, etc.
Our Purchase Orders are like many different department stores that buy substantial orders and are on guaranteed sales. The risk cannot only be on the retailer in these times. The celebrity and the manufacturer must take responsibility in every business transaction they enter into.
Although we have three months of emails going back and forth that the goods are waiting to be shipped back and are sitting in our warehouse, we had no choice but to give Majestic Mills an ultimatum that they were going to be shipped to a women's shelter if they did not pick them up by Friday, August 27th. We think that in these hard economic times, with many people suffering, this was the best solution.
We were happy to pay for goods that were sold, but we wanted the invoices adjusted accordingly to the goods that had been sold.
Also, the Principle in Majestic Mills asked to rent a Hollywood Hills home owned by Kitson for a client of theirs. In lieu of that, Kitson was promised the launch of Richie's Winter Kate clothing line, quid pro quo. A verbal contract holds up in the State of California. Although that never happened as Nicole went around the world promoting the line and never did a personal appearance in her own backyard with a client that supported her throughout her entire career.
Nicole's Manager should have taken a much more aggressive approach with her clothing line as he lives in L.A. and the line is in six of our stores. Today, you just don't accept an order and turn a blind eye. The Manager of Nicole Richie stated, "well why don't you just ship back the goods?" Well we need a Return Authorization in the garment industry so that when goods are returned to a manufacturer's warehouse, the receiver understands why goods are being returned; this is standard in the industry and they did not provide this.
Celebrity lines are a tough sell, but there can always be a successful outcome, such as House of Harlow Jewelry Collection by Pascal Mouawad. Kitson is a huge fan and supporter of Nicole Richie and all her creative endeavors and we hope we can continue to work together to promote many of her product launches to her wide fan base, who are also customers of Kitson.
And there you have it.
[Image via WENN.]