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Things get messy as Lanvin goes to court over Alber Elbaz

The trouble just keeps rising at Lanvin. As we reported to you last month, in a shocking and swift move, the majority shareholder of Lanvin Shaw-Lan Wang, decided to let go long time creative director Alber Elbaz. When news of his departure hit the workers at the couture design house were said to be shocked and in tears.
Now that the dust has settled, the claws have come out. According to WWD, Lanvin’s management team took the Lanvin works council to court. Apparently, the works council has been using company message boards and email, to keep track and pass information to each other about the majority owner Shaw-Lan Wang. Initially, there was no clear word of why Elbaz was pushed out, and there were even rumors that the workers were possibly planning a strike because of the sudden removal of the beloved designer. Tuesday during the court proceedings, the council for Lanvin management, Johann Sultan revealed that Mr. Elbaz tried to sell his shares of another company belonging to Shaw-Lan Wang, and held “advanced talks” behind Wang’s back to find a buyer for Lanvin.
The profits have been on a steady decline at Lanvin; the company has gone from 15.9 million in profit in 2012, down to 3.9 million in 2014. The works council, seem to be worried about the swift removal of Elbaz due to the hefty severance package that will have to be paid out in his departure. The lawyers representing the Lanvin works council said that it could cost the company between 27.5 and 55 million dollars for Mr. Elbaz’s severance package (WWD).
The company asked the court to dismiss the “Right to notify” clause brought about by the works council, in addition to asking that the works council no longer use company email to discuss management decisions and removal of the departure letters Elbaz left for the workers.
The lawyers representing the workers had some strong words for the management at Lanvin accusing them of having “an opaque system of obstruction and autocracy that did not approve of employees seeking information about the company’s finances” (WWD).
Although both parties are waiting for the ruling of the case on December 16th, there are more questions that can be answered in that hearing making the future of Lanvin even more uncertain.

2 Comments

  1. Felicia M Ballet

    December 7, 2015 at 1:12 am

    WOW!!! All I can say is WOW!!

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