Valentino settles lawsuit against former flagship store


Valentino has settled a legal battle over the lease of its sweeping store on New York’s Fifth Avenue. In a joint statement on Monday, the Italian fashion brand and its former owner 693 Fifth Owner LLC confirmed that they had reached an “amicable settlement” in their respective lawsuits, that both parties were “satisfied and that Valentino’s lease for the Fifth Owner LLC Avenue store “will be closed.” The statement comes nearly two years after Valentino filed a lawsuit against its then-owner in a New York state court, alleging that his activities at the four-story downtown Manhattan boutique “have been greatly hindered and rendered impracticable, impracticable and unachievable.”

In filing suit against 693 Fifth Owner LLC in June 2020, Valentino argued that “the current social and economic climate, replete with COVID-19 related restrictions, social distancing measures, lack of consumer confidence and an overriding fear of patronizing, in-person, ‘non-essential’ luxury shopping,” has kept her from operating her store as usual, something she doesn’t see changing in the near future. As such, the complaint pointed to a provision of the parties’ lease, which began in August 2013, which required it to use retail space in a manner that is “consistent with the reputation for luxury, of prestige and high quality of the immediate Fifth Avenue district.

This was made impossible as a result of the global health pandemic, according to the Valentino lawsuit, which sets out allegations of impossibility of performance, voiding based on lack of consideration, binding expulsion and declaratory judgment. for frustration of purpose, and argued that it was unable “to offer boutique retail sales, or related services such as fitting”.

In a loss for the fashion brand, New York Supreme Court Justice Andrew Borrok granted 693 Fifth Owner LLC’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit in February 2021, finding that the parties had “expressly allocated the risk that Valentino would not be unable to operate his business” in their May 2013 lease agreement, resulting in Valentino being “not forgiven for his performance, including his obligation to pay rent under any statute of the United States. State”, and causing a call from the fashion brand. At the same time, 693 Fifth Owner filed a separate – but related – lawsuit against Valentino, in which he accused the brand of breaching the terms of the lease by giving up the space in December 2020 and not paying. the rent even before that. , while allegedly failing to repair damage to the property.

Despite Valentino’s claims that it has been significantly damaged as a result of the pandemic and resulting lockdowns and marked declines in luxury goods sales, 693 Fifth Owner argued that the brand blamed the pandemic for to exit the lease, when in reality the brand had been “suffering since long before the COVID-19 pandemic”, and opted for a smaller – and cheaper – lease at 135 Spring Street.

In view of the foregoing and considering the property damage allegedly caused by the mark, including “significant holes” and paint on the Venetian Terrazzo marble panels in the store space, 693 Fifth Owner requested more than 200 million dollars in damage – 15.3 million dollars. for damages and lost rent during the term of the repairs, $6.6 million for unpaid rent between September 2020 and February 2021, and $184 million for rent for the remainder of the 16-year lease term.

Terms of the parties’ settlement were not disclosed.

As for a Valentino lawsuit that is still ongoing, it would be the high-stakes case he initiated against Mario Valentino in July 2019. In a status report filed with Judge John Kronstadt of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in January, lawyers for the two Italian brands revealed that proceedings were currently underway in federal court in the United States, as well as in Italy – and in one case, it will take at least two more years to be resolved. The latest update from the namesake but unaffiliated brands comes two and a half years after Valentino filed a lawsuit against Mario Valentino in the United States, accusing him of breaching a coexistence agreement they signed over 40 years ago to avoid legal action. complications stemming from their nearly identical nicknames.

The case is Valentino USA, Inc. v. 693 Fifth Owner LLC, 652605/2020 (NY Sup).

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