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Thursday, May 23, 2024 | Back issues
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Low Tricks Alleged in High Fashion

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A designer demands $22.6 million from "casual luxury" clothier Piper Gore, claiming Piper Gore's father swiped his designs and slapped new labels on his inventory for his daughter's new line of clothes.

Glenn Shelhamer sued Robert Gore, Just Piper LLC dba Piper Gore, and Paul Cardenas, in Superior Court.

Shelhamer claims Robert Gore locked him out of Oliver Rayn LLC (ORLLC), the label he formed with Robert's daughter, Piper Gore, and concealed or stole his personal computer, books and inventory.

Paul Cardenas is Oliver Rayn's chief financial officer. Piper Gore, the individual, is not a party to the case.

In his 42-page complaint, Shelhamer says he went into business with Piper Gore in 2009, forming Oliver Rayn to sell a "lifestyle brand" of menswear.

Piper introduced Shelhamer to her father, who, according to the complaint, has "exhibited talent for raiding small businesses and for rearranging their structures for his own narrow profit and greed both through his direct efforts and through third parties. ... Defendant Gore saw an opportunity to abuse and mislead a talented young man to make substantial sums of money and deprive plaintiff of his rightful interests."

The complaint continues: "Defendant Gore seized upon the opportunity and falsely embraced plaintiff with open arms; defendant Gore promised plaintiff that he would financially support him and ORLLC. Defendant Gore promised plaintiff that defendant Gore would make sure that plaintiff's lifestyle brand, clothing designs, menswear would be manufactured, market and sold facilitating plaintiff to realize his vision and fairly profit from his efforts. Defendant Gore also told plaintiff that he would financially fund ORLLC and plaintiff/Piper Gore; at the same time defendant Gore promised that he would help plaintiff/Gore to find a substantially larger investment partner. Defendant Gore also informed plaintiff that he played golf with powerful people in the apparel industry and that he would help plaintiff/Gore get to the next level and help the company become solid 'on going operation.' [Sic.] Nevertheless, as a result of these misrepresentations, by 2011 defendant Gore positioned himself to wrongfully exclude plaintiff from his own business and in fact did illegally exclude plaintiff and transfer to himself the trademarked brand name, logo, trade dress, design patterns, concepts and other valuable intellectual property devised by plaintiff."

Shelhamer says Gore installed Cardenas as Oliver Rayn's acting chief financial officer to "become familiar with the clothing, review the books and records, change accounting methodologies, and other acts in order to realize their plot to exclude plaintiff from ORLLC and strip him of its valuable intellectual property he had created."

Shelhamer says he was "forcefully removed" from the now-shuttered Oliver Rayn which was based at the same Los Angeles office as Just Piper.

(Women's Wear Daily reported that Oliver Rayn had closed and that its co-founder Piper Gore's had "launched" her new eponymous company, in a one-paragraph story on Jan. 20.)

Shelhamer claims that Gore stole information from his personal computer, replaced the labels on his clothes and sold and marketed them as Piper Gore products.

He also claims that Gore destroyed or concealed accounting records and $60,000 in inventory.

"Defendants own 'Just Gore,' doing business as 'Just Piper' and that company was created in or about December 2011," the complaint states. "'Just Piper' announced to the world that plaintiff was 'kicked out,' 'thrown out' and/or 'fired' to further damage plaintiff's reputation in the clothing industry. Each of the defendants was instrumental in the removal of labels on clothes that constituted the product of ORLLC and the clothing plaintiff had designed and created; the same products that plaintiff originated designed and created for his full lifestyle brand. Defendants were also instrumental in wrongfully placing new labels on the same clothing and wrongfully identifying the designer and creator of the clothes to be 'Just Piper.' Defendants intend to sell these mislabeled and counterfeited items imminently."

Shelhamer seeks an injunction, disgorgement, and punitive damages of $22.6 million for conversion, intentional misrepresentation by omission, violations of California's Business and Professions Code, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

He is represented by Dimitrios Biller with Fadlon & Rozio of Beverly Hills.

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