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Designer sunglasses’ point of origin in dispute

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Some made-in-Italy designer sunglasses are actually fashioned in a factory in China, claims a lawsuit made public Tuesday by the legal blog www.thefashionlaw.com.

Filed in a Manhattan federal court Tuesday by designer-eyewear designer Selima Optique, the lawsuit accuses Paris-based Kering, the parent company of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Brioni and Balenciaga, of  “deliberately and falsely represent[ing] that their eyeglasses and sunglasses are ‘Made in Italy,’” when “in truth, their products, or substantially all parts of their products, are made in China, and (at best) shipped to Italy for final assembly and packaging, and then exported,” according to the blog.

New York-based Selima Optique sells its Paris-made eyewear in trendy boutiques in New York, Santa Monica and Paris.

The suit accuses Kering of defrauding consumers by “simply replacing the ‘Made In China’ labels [that come with affixed to its eyewear] with ‘Made In Italy’ labels” before selling them to wholesalers, such as Selima, or directly to consumers, the suit claims.

A spokesman for Kering told a reporter: “Kering Eyewear denies all allegations made by Selima Optique, Inc.” The company further maintained that all of its “luxury products are made in Italy and are labeled in compliance with all applicable law.”