The Model Wars heat up in NYC

What do you get when you take 9 retired fashion models, 8 of New York city’s biggest modeling agencies and the world’s largest litigation firm…a New York Supreme Court shit fight that, if successful in favour of our clothes horses, is likely to change the face of the modelling industry in the States and around the world…forever!

Earlier this year Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan filed a Third Amended Class Action Complaint, on behalf of our lovelies, against the agencies who are said to have deprived the lovelies of wages, overcharged expenses, forced their way into the lives of the lovelies and withheld work if questions were asked.  All feasible allegations if you know anyone in the closed shop industry of high fashion modeling but what is extraordinary is we finally have a group of lovelies ballsy enough to speak out on behalf of the others that are still slogging it out under the flash bulbs for paltry pay and sub par conditions.

A critical argument advanced by Quinn Emanuel, who as an aside are well renowned for knowing their business, is that these lovelies were actually employees rather than the independent contractors that they were characterised as.  Which as any savvy lawyer knows is a segway into all sorts of conditions that will on no view of the world have been offered to these or an of New York’s lovelies.  We’re talking minimum wage, regular pay checks, accountable expenses etc.  Again, the employee argument is highly feasible based on the amount of control the respective agencies imposed on the day to day work environment and conditions of the lovelies.  So modeling agencies you may be in  ‘all sorts’ here, one would imagine.

Some of the more extraordinary, but all to possible, allegations levelled at the agencies were that their lovelies were instructed in their clothing and personal grooming choices, accommodation and boyfriends and were not permitted to have anything to do with their bookings, contractual negotiations or recovery of earnings.  But the kicker is that with the instruction on all things mother agency came the costs!  Allegedly the “we want you to wear your hair like this so you represent this agency well”…was accompanied by “we have booked an appointment for you at this stylist”oh and if you can’t afford it don’t worry it will come out of your wages and until you pay the principal loan we’ll charge you interest on the outstanding money”.  And no, no my lovely…no questions will be asked if you want to continue getting modeling work to pay off those loans.

If the allegations can be established, and if anyone can run a smooth case against the mother ships, it’s Quinn Emanuel, then be prepared for a spate of changes in the running of things in the fashion industry.  For a simple start the lovelies are asking, on behalf of all models forming part of the class, for a court order that the agencies provide them with a wages statement with a full explanation for the calculation of wages and deductions.  That alone could put agencies under a boat load of pressure!

Stay tuned for further updates as Shanklin & Ors v Wilhelmina Models Inc & Ors 653702/2013 moves through the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court of New York.

 

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Guccio Gucci Arrested for Fraudulent Bankruptcy

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Source: Daily Mail                        Source: thelocal.it

Firenze – 11 September 2014

Guccio Gucci, the great grandson of the founder of Gucci is currently under house arrest at his home in Firenze on charges of fraudulent bankruptcy.

The allegations arise following Signor Gucci filing for bankruptcy for his company Esperienze Srl, the creator of the  “To Be G” hand bag range, in December 2013.  Signor Gucci is accused of diverting some 800,000 Euro of cash and assets from the company to meet his personal debts prior to filing for bankruptcy.  He also faces charges of fraudulent tax evasion totalling 400,000 Euro.

According to Italian authorities the assets were transferred to a new company with its head office in Perugia also run by Gucci and his co-conspirator, Sergio Moroni, the Chief Legal Officer of Esperienze Srl.  Signor Moroni has also been charged.

In securing the arrest warrant Prosecutor Christine Von Borries said that Signor Gucci, acting with another conspirator “emptied the coffers of the company so as to render debt collection by the Italian Inland Revenue of 386,000 euros for the years 2007-12 impossible.”

In determining to order the arrest of Signor Gucci the investigating magistrate is reported to have said “We are not looking at the classic example of problems of a company that has failed because of the crisis. The operation was a complex one and was designed almost entirely to pay off some debts.’

To date the Italian authorities have recovered 400,000 Euros.

Under Italian Criminal Law directors and officers of bankrupt companies can be punished with imprisonment from 3 to 10 years if they are found to have committed a crime associated with fraudulent bankruptcy including diversion, concealment…or dissipation of all or part of the company’s assets.  An essential precondition for the criminal liability is an intention to direct the company’s assets to a different destination from the company’s corporate purposes and to have the creditors of the company.