Charlotte Russe Being Sued for $60m

We’re probably all familiar with William Rast, the fashion line co-created by Justin Timberlake.

Now that we’ve established that, here’s the meat of the matter.

People’s Liberation, Inc. (the company that designs and distributes high-end casual apparel under the brand names People’s Liberation, William Rast and J. Lindeberg) is suing Charlotte Russe (Charlotte Russe Merchandising, Inc.).

According to a release issued by People’s Liberation today, the suit seeks over $60 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Why?

Allegations are that

Charlotte Russe approached People’s Liberation in 2008 to exclusively license the People’s Liberation Brand in the United States and all of Central and North America. To induce People’s Liberation to stop providing its premium denim, knit and accessory products to fine department stores such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Neiman Marcus, Charlotte Russe executed a multiyear contract in December 2008 that guaranteed minimum purchases of product during the first three contract years of $65 million.

The complaint alleges that Charlotte Russe, without justification or legitimate reason, terminated its contract with People’s Liberation within the first year of the relationship. This termination occurred shortly after Charlotte Russe was purchased by the private equity firm of Advent CR Holdings, Inc. The complaint further alleges that Advent CR Holdings, Inc., its parent Advent International Corporation, and Charlotte Russe’s management wanted to take the company in a new direction and, in doing so, they were prepared to ignore prior contractual obligations.

I’m staying tuned to find out how this one pans out.

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