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Designer Mark Zunino Responds to Kleinfeld Lawsuit

Designer Mark Zunino Responds to Kleinfeld Lawsuit

In response to the article in the NY Post it was stated that Mark Zunino, a famous wedding gown and red carpet designer, was not to engage in any design activities that would "conflict or compete" with Kleinfeld, the wedding gown retailer in New York City.

It was recently noted by Kleinfeld attorneys that Mr. Zunino's business activity with QVC was a breach of contract. It is to be clarified that Mr. Zunino's activities with QVC is to provide non wedding gown related dresses, which is unrelated to the relationship with Kleinfeld and is not a breach of contract.

As alleged in the Complaint filed by Kleinfeld in New York, prior to entering into the disputed employment agreement, Mr. Zunino and Kleinfeld had agreed to a licensing agreement, which is not in dispute. Under that agreement Mr. Zunino remains committed to provide Kleinfeld with a number of designs twice a year and to continue to be available to attend trunks shows and appear in advertising and otherwise promote the products designed for Kleinfeld under the license agreement. Mr. Zunino and Kleinfeld both remain satisfied with and committed to this relationship and Kleinfeld, through its attorney, stated that it "has the highest respect and regard for Mr. Zunino."

Mr. Zunino views the complaint filed by Kleinfeld as a minor business dispute and notes that the parties remain committed in their efforts to arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution. In the meantime, Mr. Zunino's high-end one of a kind wedding gowns and couture collection remain the focus of Mr. Zunino's business and his creative efforts in these areas will not be impeded. Mr. Zunino also expects to continue his relationship with QVC.

The Complaint does not allege that Mr. Zunino is, "undercutting [Kleinfeld's] business by designing discount dresses for QVC." Kleinfeld's business is exclusively the manufacture, sale, and marketing of wedding gowns and related bridal apparel. The gowns that Mr. Zunino designs for sale on QVC are not wedding gowns or wedding related. It is for this reason that the employment agreement at issue provides that Mr. Zunino, "may continue to perform services under [his] existing agreements with QVC and Nolan Miller Incorporated." This lack of a conflict was noted on the homeshoppingista.com site: "Zunino has designed some apparel for QVC, but none of it involved wedding dresses and would not seem to compete with Kleinfeld." Furthermore, the Complaint does not allege that the employment agreement was breached by the design of "discount dresses for QVC."

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