Alice + Olivia co-founder, Rebecca Matchett facing legal trouble, as businesswoman Jessica Stark is suing her for $10 million, claiming she wasn't paid for the work she did to revive Matchett's more recent venture, TrioFit. Along with her partner, Drew Paluba, Matchett launched TrioFit, an innovative women’s sizing solution for all body types, in 2008. (She left Alice + Olivia in 2003 after a falling out with fellow founder, Stacey Bendet, the now designer and CEO of the brand. While Matchett stepped down from managing the company, she still holds a minority stake).
According to Stark's complaint, which was filed in New York Supreme Court late last week, TrioFit was on the verge of shuttering when Stark, who previously worked as the vice president of global marketing for jewelry label Judith Ripka, set up a licensing deal with InStyle magazine. Additionally, Stark was takes with finding investors and rebranding TrioFit. She claims she completely reworked the TrioFit brand in exchange for a 49% stake in the business and a cut of the profits.
Apparently, while Matchett promised Stark a near-majority ownership stake in the brand, when it came to the finer points of the agreement, negotiations first faltered, then completely fell apart. As a result, Matchett avoided Stark’s calls, according to the lawsuit. Stark is asking for $10 million because she claims she wasn’t paid for any of the work she did for the failing brand.
Of the suit, Jonathan Sack, an attorney at Sack & Sack, the firm representing Stark, says: "People need to be held accountable for promises they make, especially when they derive a significant financial benefit from the work of others. Shame on [Matchett] for taking my client’s recipe for success.” More to come …