Russell Simmons, the co-founder of the legendary record label Def Jam, has reportedly filed a $55 million breach of contract lawsuit the Supreme Court of the State of New York this week against overseas clothing partner Li & Fung USA.
The lawsuit centres on one of the clothing lines, American Classics, produced by the Simmons Design Group. Hip-hop mogul Simmons claims that The Millwork Trading Co. LTD (Li & Fung, USA) approached him with interest about marketing the new brand, when they were actually interested in the Group’s flagship brand Argyleculture.
In a statement released as the lawsuit was filed, Simmons expressed the opinion that:
“They [Li & Fung, USA] expressed a false enthusiasm for my flagship brand in order to induce me into licensing them my mass-market brand.
“After two years of repeated misrepresentations, failed execution and lack of development and support, it is blatantly clear that Li & Fung USA never intended perform its contractual obligations under both Argyleculture and American Classics trademarks. Therefore I have taken this action to protect my partnerships with retailers and recover millions in damages on behalf of my brands and to protect my name and reputation in the industry.”
It is likely that as a leading, international brand, The Millwork Trading Co. Ltd is likely to have some form of professional indemnity insurance in place to cover the costs of the lawsuit.