Lawsuits of the (not filthy) rich: Elie Tahari v Andrew Rosen

Reading Rebecca Mead’s fascinating article, “The Garmento King,” in the September 23 New Yorker, I came upon this:

[Andrew] Rosen chose the name Theory because he wanted a brand identity that was independent of any individual designer. At the outset, he told [Barry] Schwartz, who remains a friend, that Theory could be a fifteen- or twenty-million-dollar business. By 2003, it had annual sales of more than two hundred million, at which point Rosen and [Elie] Tahari sold the company to the Japanese conglomerate that owns Uniqlo. Rosen, who received forty-nine million dollars and an eleven-per-cent stake in the company, was supposed to stay on for just a year. But his Japanese bosses wanted him to stay longer; though he sold the last of his stake in 2006, he has served as C.E.O. ever since. (Several years go, Tahari sued Rosen, claiming that he had never intended to leave the company, and that Rosen had induced him to sell his stake below fair market value; the court sided with Rosen, throwing out the majority of Tahari’s claims.)

Lawsuits, lawsuits everywhere. But although I wouldn’t call Rosen and Tahari The Filthy Rich — must I come up with a dollar figure that makes someone “filthy,” rather than just “rich?” — and both fashion guys have apparently worked hard for their wealth, this off-hand insert within a much larger story does support my general rule: people who have money will be sued, and will sue.

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