Stuart Weitzman executive sues Tapestry over sexual harassment claims

A senior Stuart Weitzman employee has filed a lawsuit against Tapestry, Inc and one of its former creative directors over sexual harassment allegations.Last week (ends27May18), bosses at shoe brand Weitzman, owned by parent company Tapestry, announced …

A senior Stuart Weitzman employee has filed a lawsuit against Tapestry, Inc and one of its former creative directors over sexual harassment allegations.

Last week (ends27May18), bosses at shoe brand Weitzman, owned by parent company Tapestry, announced that Giovanni Morelli had parted ways, citing issues with his behaviour in the workplace.

Now, details of how Morelli apparently “fell short” of standards have emerged, with Weitzman’s vice president of product development footwear, Thomas Gibb, alleging in documents filed in a Manhattan state court that the designer had repeatedly harassed him.

In the complaint, Gibb stated that he had endured “unwanted touchings” and an “endless” stream of sexually explicit comments from Morelli.

The harassment allegedly included “sexually charged conversation and innuendo into the workplace, making those around him, including Mr. Gibb, extremely uncomfortable”.

Further, Gibb claimed that during a design team meeting in Spain, Morelli constantly touched his body and legs, drew “vulgar and obscene drawings” on a whiteboard in his office and also asked him whether he would “ever consider not being straight?”

The court documents also stated that Gibb had complained about Morelli’s behaviour to Weitzman’s human resources department but his “complaints were ignored entirely”. He is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Morelli has not yet commented on the lawsuit. However, a Tapestry representative told The Hollywood Reporter: “While we historically have not commented on pending litigation, we can confirm that the Wigdor firm, representing Mr. Gibb, wrote to our General Counsel on May 15, 2018. On that date, the Company commenced an investigation which ultimately resulted in the announcement on May 21, 2018, regarding the resignation of Giovanni Morelli.”

Morelli joined Weitzman as creative director in May 2017 and presented his first two collections in February.

© Cover Media