Peter Marino, the fashion industry’s most celebrated architect, is being accused by a former employee of creating a hostile work environment based on his “sexist” and “racist” ways. According to a lawsuit filed this past week in New York state court by former employee Deirdre O’Brien, Marino, who is know for his work on retail stores, including Chanel, Bulgari, Ermenegildo Zegna, Christian Dior, Fendi and Louis Vuitton, among others, as well as his penchant for wearing biker-inspired looks, regularly referred to female employees by calling them sexist and offensive names. The suit also alleges that he has a history of making racist statements about black employees. In her complaint, O’Brien, who served as an office manager for Peter Marino Architecture PLLC, Marino’s New York-based architecture firm for 14 years, claims that this fall Marino “unleashed a tirade” against her in front of male executives and subsequently fired her without just cause.
Per Page Six, during the incident, Marino, who got his start in 1978 when Andy Warhol hired him, “called [O’Brien] a “c–t” as her back was turned,” and subsequently had her fired days later after she threatened to quit and complained to human resources about the incident. O’Brien further states: “Marino is as adept at creating an intimidating and bullying culture targeting women and people of color on the inside of his company as he is at creating an edgy architectural esthetic on the outside. Given that he was the owner and boss, no action was ever taken about his behavior.”
As a result of her ouster, O’Brien is claiming that she has been subjected to unfair dismissal after the firm refused to let her return to her job following the incident, and wants New York’s Supreme Court to award her an array of damages in connection therewith.