Counterfeit Shutdown? Brazen Offender Keeps on Manufacturing. Second City Style Fashion Blog

March 1, 2007 • Fashion


Think that Banana Republic top you bought on eBay is real? It probably isn’t. A lawsuit in federal court here has revealed the seizure of tens of
thousands of pieces of branded apparel that were allegedly counterfeit.
The manufacturer was busted before, but kept producing and selling anyway.

According to today’s WWD, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of
Timberland and Nautica Apparel, although the investigation showed that
dozens of brands were said to be copied, including Polo Ralph Lauren,
Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch
and Guess.

Timberland and Nautica filed a joint complaint in
the Southern District of New York on Feb. 2, accusing Trendy USA Inc.,
a company operating in the heart of the city’s Garment District, and
its owner, Christine Yuen, of being "known counterfeiters.’ Several
members of Trendy’s staff were also named as defendants, as well as a
warehouse operation in Piscataway, N.J., where the counterfeit goods
were allegedly stored. The complaint alleged violations on seven
counts, including trademark and counterfeiting infringement and false
designation of origin.

Private investigators
first encountered Trendy at an off-price show in Las Vegas in February
2006. Over the course of several months, the investigators were able to
purchase Timberland and Nautica products from Trendy and discovered the
goods were being stored with Lucky Moving Inc., a warehouse company in
Piscataway. Nautica and Timberland examined samples of the purchased
items and found them to be counterfeit.

Not only that, Yuen is a persistent counterfeiter. It’s hard to give up sales of $8 million per year. According to the court filings, Trendy
was owned by Yuen and operating out of an office formally occupied by a
company called TC Fashions. It was only a year ago the same law firm
representing Timberland and Nautica had filed suit against Yuen and TC
on behalf of The North Face and Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., also
levying allegations of counterfeiting. That case resulted in a raid of
another New Jersey warehouse in 2006 that turned up hundreds of
thousands of apparel products with labels such as Abercrombie &
Fitch, Adidas, Aéropostale, Bisou Bisou, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior,
Gap, Gucci, J. Crew, Lacoste, Nautica and Nike.

Nautica and Timberland found Yuen incorporated
Trendy USA only two weeks after The North Face and Polo filed suit
against Yuen and TC Fashions.

"It appears that [Yuen] went right on
manufacturing counterfeit goods and selling them, but she has changed
her business model in an obvious attempt to avoid detection," Elings
told WWD on Wednesday.

Elings contends Yuen changed the
company’s name to Trendy, moved the office, switched
warehouses, began importing smaller shipments of goods and developed a
code for referring to brands. For instance, TIAM was used as an
abbreviation for Timberland, NACE for Nautica and AFRICA for

Read full article here: WWD

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