Your “Made in Italy” sunglasses are just as Italian as you think: This is Kering’s declaration on the heels of the resolution of the strongly-worded lawsuit that Selima Optique filed against it this summer. The New York-based eyewear retailer filed suit against Kering in June, as first reported by TFL, claiming that it was employing a “bait-and-switch scheme” by “deliberately and falsely represent[ing] that their eyeglasses and sunglasses are ‘Made in Italy,’” when “in truth, their products, or substantially all parts of their products, are made in China, and (at best) shipped to Italy for final assembly and packaging, and then exported.”
As of early this month, the parties have managed to resolve their differences out of court. According to a statement provided to TFL from Kering, the Paris-based parent company of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, and Balenciaga: “Selima Optique voluntarily dismissed a complaint it filed against Kering Eyewear and Kering with prejudice and without any payment from Kering Eyewear or Kering.”
On the heels of Selima’s initial filing this summer, Kering states that it “immediately and fully disputed the claims,” urging a New York federal judge to toss the case out of court once and for all, as it lacks any “factual merit.” Kering told Judge Valerie Caproni of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a letter dated July 13 that Selima’s “entire” lawsuit is based on “the demonstrably false premise that defendants’ luxury eyewear products are made in China.”
Fast forward to December 1 and Selima Optique filed to voluntarily dismiss its complaint. The “dismissal with prejudice” – a legal term that means that the plaintiff is thereby barred from filing a lawsuit on the same issue at a later date – prevents Selima Optique from bringing the same or markedly similar claims against Kering at a later date.
In connection with the case, Kering adamantly states that its “luxury products are indeed manufactured and distributed in compliance with all ‘Made In’ laws.”