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Fashion and Consumer Brands

Kramer Levin provides comprehensive legal services to fashion and consumer brand clients ranging from established companies and designers to entrepreneurs and new ventures to private equity investors. Our multidisciplinary team — comprising corporate, tax and intellectual property lawyers — leverages extensive industry experience to help clients avoid or solve problems and capitalize on opportunities.

We provide holistic advice on all aspects of strategy and operations, tailoring our services to address each client’s individual needs. Fashion and consumer brand clients turn to Kramer Levin for guidance regarding general corporate and IP matters, as well as mission-critical projects such as:

  • Starting a company
  • Growing or transforming a business through an acquisition or sale
  • Structuring investments and licensing transactions
  • Maintaining brand integrity and optimizing brand protection worldwide
  • Monetizing, protecting and enforcing intellectual property rights
  • Negotiating supply, manufacture, distribution and other significant commercial agreements
  • Establishing data protection and cybersecurity policies, and effectuating technology agreements, to facilitate electronic and mobile commerce
  • Realizing opportunities through restructuring, liquidation, and strategic asset purchases and sales

We bridge gaps in valuation between buyers and sellers through earnouts, IP licenses, and employment and consulting arrangements. We also create tax-efficient structures for a wide range of corporate and real estate transactions. In addition to our transactional work, we represent fashion and consumer brand clients in litigation involving trademarks, licensing, and allegations of unfair competition and counterfeiting.

As a result of our deep-bench experience, we’re able to provide broad-ranging counsel to clients regarding apparel industry-specific issues, including returns and allowances, excess inventory treatment, factoring, and structures for overseas operations, as well as post-transaction transitional services to facilitate seamless business integration following mergers, acquisitions and other corporate changes.

In the New York office, we maintain a French desk staffed by French-speaking lawyers admitted in both New York and France. These lawyers leverage close working relationships with our Paris office lawyers and local counsel throughout Europe to provide practical counsel to U.S. and European clients in a wide range of cross-border matters.

Representative U.S. Experience:

  • Represented U.S. toy company Alex Brands in its acquisitions of  Hong Kong-based Buzz Bee Toys and France-based Juratoys and its subsidiary brands Janod and Kaloo. The Alex Brands family of  brands includes Alex Toys, Poof, Slinky, Scientific Explorer, Ideal, Zoob, Backyard Safari, Zillionz, Citiblocs and Shrinky Dinks.
  • Represented world-famous makeup artist and entrepreneur Bobbi Brown in negotiating a worldwide licensing arrangement for Bobbi Brown optical frames and sunglasses with Safilo Group, a major  eyewear manufacturer, and Estée Lauder, owner of the Bobbi  Brown trademark for cosmetics.
  • Represented fashion designers Carol Lim and Humberto Leon  in their positions as creative directors of the KENZO  apparel/accessories brand owned by LVMH.
  • Represented Designs Inc. in the acquisition of Casual Male Corp.
  • Represented The Hawn Foundation, a nonprofit organization  founded by iconic actress Goldie Hawn, in all legal matters,  including publishing agreements, foreign language works,  trademark and intellectual property, employment matters,  branding, and all items related to their operations and their  MindUP social and emotional literacy program.
  • Secured for Joseph Abboud the right to use his name commercially by successfully appealing to the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals an injunction arising out of a sale of Mr. Abboud’s trademark rights in the JOSEPH ABBOUD brand.
  • Counseled on licensing distributorship and other commercial agreements for brands including Kenneth Cole, DKNY, Echo, Avirex and Dana Buchman.
  • Represented Liz Claiborne Inc. on its dispositions of Narciso Rodriguez, Ellen Tracy, C&C California, Juicy Couture and prAna, as well as having been lead counsel on acquiring each of these brands for Liz Claiborne.
  • Represented Liz Claiborne Inc. on its acquisitions of Kate Spade and Jack Spade, Enyce, Monet Group Inc., Laundry by Shelli Segal, Lucky Brand and Sigrid Olsen.
  • Represented premier plus-size brand Monif C. in a trademark infringement/right of publicity action brought by plus-size model Emme.
  • Represented the innovative fashion brand Opening Ceremony in a well-publicized collaboration with Intel to design a luxury, highfashion bracelet.
  • Represented Opening Ceremony in a minority investment by Berkshire Partners LLC.
  • Represented Opening Ceremony in a copyright infringement action regarding designs commercialized in collaboration with Yoko Ono.
  • Provided IP counseling as part of a multidisciplinary team representing Poof-Slinky LLC in a complex refinancing secured by patent and trademark assets of several of Poof’s portfolio toy companies.
  • Represented Poof-Slinky LLC in its acquisition of Alex Toys and an associated internal restructuring. 
  • Represented Poof-Slinky LLC in the protection and enforcement of its global toy brands, including Alex Toys, Slinky, Poof, Ideal, Scientific Explorer, Zoob and Backyard Safari.
  • Represented the equity holders of Robert Graham Inc., a maker of men’s shirts and other apparel, in connection with a sale of its business to Tengram, a private equity group.
  • Represented Rocawear in its sale to Iconix Brand Group Inc.
  • Provided strategic corporate and trademark counsel to Rosgin Ltd. in the sale of its Parker brand of women’s apparel to Kellwood, a private equity firm.
  • Represented Steve Madden Ltd. in its purchases of Cejon, Big Buddha and Daniel Friedman Inc.
  • Represented Wear Me Apparel d/b/a Kids Headquarters in an acquisition of assets by Li & Fung Limited, subsidiary of LF USA.
  • Represented Weld North in its purchase of a controlling stake in Organic Avenue, a national juice and raw foods chain based in New York.
  • Restructured a well-known TV personality’s business interests and licensing of her name for a new beverage product.
  • Represented a top singer in connection with issues arising from a central withholding agreement.
  • Represented several well-known recording artists in structuring license and endorsement transactions.

Representative European Experience:

  • Advised BGC Aurel on a bond issue for Horizon, the personal holding of Henri Seydoux, the owner of Parrot and Louboutin.
  • Advised Body Minute on distribution matters relating to its U.S. franchise network.
  • Advised Carrefour, a French mass retail leader, and one of its sister companies, Carrefour On Line, on payment regulation.
  • Advised Carrefour on commercial urban planning matters.
  • Advised Fromageries Bel on several corporate financing transactions in France.
  • Advised Fromageries Bel on its Schuldschein loan issues of €140 million and US$110 million.
  • Advised Fromageries Bel on its €160 million bond issue on the euro private placement market.
  • Provided regulatory advice to the L’Oréal group regarding European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR).
  • Assisted the U.S. subsidiary of French luxury group LVMH on various employment and social security matters, including international mobility.
  • Assisted Marc Jacobs International LLC on immigration law issues, including visa application procedures.
  • Advised toy brands Mattel and Corolle on French corporate governance issues.
  • Advised the Moulin de la Vierge bakery group on the tax aspects of its reorganization and capital-investment input.
  • Assisted Regefi, a fully owned financing subsidiary of L’Oreal, on various banking and securities matters. We do this work on an annual basis.
  • Advised a French company acting as an agent for an Italian company in the distribution of clothing and fashion accessories on a litigation case related to the termination of its agency contract.
  • Advised a cosmetics manufacturer regarding its possible claims under French law based on a sudden break of established business relationships with its supplier for the distribution of cosmetic products in Russia.
  • Represented two major lenders against lender liability claims in the execution of the recovery plan for Brandt and Moulinex companies.
  • Advised on a major white-collar litigation in New Caledonia with regard to alleged falsified financial statements in the sale of Mottet supermarkets.
  • Represented an American tobacco manufacturer in an undeclared work litigation.
  • Represented a bank indicted for complicity in the fraudulent bankruptcy of the Felix Potin supermarket chain.
  • Represented a bank in relation to the safeguard proceeding of Sopalia, a spirits group.
  • Represented a bank in relation to the receivership proceeding of Groupe Divin, a spirits group.
  • Assisted a banking pool in a mediation in connection with the restructuring of Un Jour Ailleurs, a group operating in the clothing industry.
  • Assisted a bank on the safeguard proceeding of Financière du Vignoble, a publicly listed distributor of alcoholic beverages and majority shareholder of Belvedere.
  • Represented two banks in a mediation in connection with the restructuring of Union Coopérative d’Alsace, a mass retail group.
  • Advised German company Rothenberger AG on its acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Virax from Facom, a subsidiary of Black & Decker Inc.

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