Carolina Herrera & Oscar De La Renta’s Dispute Has Been Settled

Photo: Zach Hilty/BFA/REX/Shutterstock
Update: One of the juiciest recent fashion dramas has come to a close. Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta have settled a lawsuit filed by Herrera's team regarding Laura Kim, WWD reports. Kim was tapped in September to be co-creative director at de la Renta; the lawsuit concerns a reported non-compete that Herrera's team sought to bar her from starting her new gig. The exact terms of the settlement are confidential, a statement from both parties stated. However, Kim is back to work at de la Renta, although it's "subject to the conditions agreed upon by the parties." Fall '17 can move forward as planned. Carry on!
Update, December 24, 2016: The judge presiding over the Carolina Herrera vs. Oscar de la Renta case has lifted the preliminary injunction that bars designer Laura Kim from starting work with de la Renta, WWD reports. In a statement, de la Renta said, "We are pleased with the court’s decision today to reverse the temporary restraining order that prevented Laura Kim from returning to our company where she worked for over 12 years before being recruited by Carolina Herrera. We look forward to returning on Jan. 10, 2017, to fully brief the court on the non-compete matter and to more fully answer the claims in the lawsuit brought by Mrs. Herrera and her team." Herrera's company also issued a statement, saying, "The company, Carolina Herrera Ltd., understands and appreciates the judge’s reasoning for today’s decision, which is to ensure the January 10 hearing is the final word on the question of the preliminary injunction. It’s important to note the judge put the opposing parties on notice that if he grants the preliminary injunction, they will be prohibited from using any and all work product they have jointly created if they choose to work together before January 10. We are satisfied with this decision and look forward to continuing to pursue this matter."

This story was originally published on December 21.
The fashion world is dark and full of terrors. To wit: A new lawsuit alleges that an executive tried to push Carolina Herrera out of creative control, failed, and then left to work for Oscar de la Renta. Page Six reports that Laura Kim rejected a $1 million offer from CEO Francois Kress to become the house's creative director last July. According to Kim's attorney Neil Capobianco, she felt that Herrera would never relinquish her creative control over the company named for her. That's because Kress never told her she was being "transitioned out" of the top role. “Ms. Herrera intended to run CH as if she were the Creative Director. While Laura was supposed to be reporting to Francois Kress, Carolina Herrera frequently took charge, without objection from Mr. Kress,” Capobianco says in the October letter, included in the suit. Herrera's attorneys reply, in the suit, that “Kim made it known to CH that she wanted to be creative director, in effect displacing Carolina Herrera herself.” The suit further alleges that Kim violated her six-month non-compete when she accepted a position as creative designer at competing house Oscar de la Renta. Following her departure, Herrera's collection flopped and the house lost business. So they seek to bar Kim from jumping to de la Renta until April 2017. Herrera's reps shared the following statement with Refinery29: "Carolina Herrera is pleased the court today granted a temporary restraining order that upholds the non-compete agreement we signed with our former senior designer. As the court ruled, the non-compete agreement was fair and plainly-worded. At all times, Carolina Herrera was faithful to the letter and spirit of our agreement, and we will continue to ethically and forcefully protect our business interests. Our focus now remains on continuing to introduce new collections that embody the spirit of timeless elegance and refinement for which Carolina Herrera is known."

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