Lawsuit Title: Lu et al v. Alexander Wang Incorporated et al (the Sweatshop lawsuit)
Case number: 1:12-cv-02187
Court filed: Federal Court (New York Southern District)
Outcome: Both parties came to MUTUAL and CONFIDENTIAL $$$$$ Monetary Settlement before escalating to trial stage.
Scroll down this blog to view many photos related to Alexander Wang, his abused employees, his family members, his luxury apartments in Manhattan, etc.
: When it comes to matters related to NYC Chinese communities (Alexander Wang Sweatshop working conditions happening in NYC Chinatown), leave it to the NYC Chinese newspapers to dig up the juicy information in their ‘hood.
According to Chinese World Journal‘s unrelenting pursuit of the truth (after all, Chinese World Journal snapped the EXCLUSIVE photo outside of Alexander Wang’s NYC Chinatown sweatshop room when no other media were able to do it), the Chinese news reporters contacted Ming Hai, Esq (he is the former attorney for the sweatshop workers as filed with the NY State Supreme Court, but he stayed on as an external legal consultant to the sweatshop lawsuit filed at the Federal Court). He told the Chinese World Journal that the terms of the private settlement (how much $$$ paid out to the plaintiffs) cannot be revealed due to Confidentiality clause spelled out in the private agreement, but he said the $$$$ amount is “satisfactory”. In other words, amidst Ming Hai’s “Mona Lisa smile”, one can imagine the sweatshop workers (the plaintiffs) are laughing all the way to their banks with a boatload of $$$$ Monetary Settlement. These sweatshop workers were owed unpaid Over-Time wages and BIG medical bills, among other things such as Daily Verbal Abuse and Assault and Unsafe Working Conditions (scroll down below to see their ordeals with photos provided).
As I mentioned before, the private settlement stipulated that the parties involved must keep the $$$$ Monetary Settlement private. As someone astutely pointed out, the Federal judge was NOT granting a motion to dismiss the sweatshop lawsuit normally filed by the defense attorneys. The judge NEVER said the lawsuit was dismissed due to lack of merit, the judge dismissed the sweatshop lawsuit simply because both parties (the Sweatshop workers & Alexander Wang) made PRIVATE SETTLEMENT, therefore BOTH parties mutually agree to rescind the civil lawsuit after they reached their PRIVATE settlement. The judge was merely acting PASSIVELY to sign-off on and closed the lawsuit due to both parties (the Sweatshop workers and Alexander Wang) signing the Private Settlement Agreement before it reached the trial stage.
Are you still confused? If yes, let me give you an example. If you can recall a recent Child Support case filed with the Family Court in New York (Manhattan, NYC) between former supermodel Linda Evangelista and her $Billionaire baby daddy Francois-Henri Pinault, the civil lawsuit ended on Day 3 of the trial when both parties reached a “Satisfactory” but Confidential Private Settlement to prevent details and data that might embarrass the $Billionaire from leaking out to the public if the lawsuit dragged on further. You have to be really gullible to believe that Linda Evangelista “suddenly” had a change of heart on Day 3 of the trial to rescind the lawsuit by NOT accepting any $$$$$ Monetary Settlement from Pinault. Likewise, the Sweatshop workers and their attorneys would not be stupid enough to have reached mutual agreement by NOT accepting any $$$$$ Monetary Settlement from Alexander Wang. I bet Pinault (being a French man) was not familiar with how open the American legal system is. By Day 2 of the trial, it must have been a culture shock to Pinault that anyone on the street (including the tabloid and paparazzi) could simply walk into the court room to listen to his Child Support lawsuit in New York with Linda Evangelista. Hence the judge in New York dismissed the Evangelista vs. Pinault (baby daddy) Child Support lawsuit due to both parties reaching PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL settlement agreement on Day 3 of the trial. If you still want to bug Linda Evangelista or Francois-Henri Pinault, neither of them will reveal the $$$$$$$$ amount to you, because they have signed the Settlement Agreement to keep their lips sealed.
You can ask legal and financial experts to make Guess-timate on the ballpark figure that the sweatshop workers received from Alexander Wang. Or you can play Sherlock Holmes, find out how much the Insurance Company paid out to the Sweatshop Workers beyond the deductible amount (if Alexander Wang bought Insurance on litigation liabilities). If the Insurance coverage is NOT sufficient to cover the Private $$$$$ Settlement or Alexander Wang did not buy litigation insurance, check how much $$$$$$ were wired out of the bank accounts of Alexander Wang, his older brother Dennis Wang & Dennis’ wife Aimie Wang, or their filthy rich mother Ying Ying-Wang (Her first name and maiden name are both spelled as Ying), father Jerry ChiYu Wang or AW’s older sister Theresa Wang (note: Theresa’s last name may have been changed due to marriage(s)/divorce(s), etc) Check their Real Estate records too. They might have to unload some real estate holdings to pay out to the Sweatshop workers. Scroll down this blog to see the fairly large collection of Real Estate owned by the Alexander Wang and his parents and siblings in New York. I haven’t included the Real Estate the Wang Family owned in California and around the world.
The Ming Pao Daily (in the bottom left-hand corner of the page) also covered the $$$$$$ Monetary Settlement of the Alexander Wang Sweatshop lawsuit. Here is an advertiser profile (in Chinese) of Ming Hai, Esq. who took the case as the plaintiffs’ attorney in the Alexander Wang Sweatshop lawsuit.
: Per Law360, Alexander Wang has reportedly settled the sweatshop lawsuit with the plaintiffs outside of court – paying the plaintiffs an UNDISCLOSED amount of $$$$ money to avoid the embarrassment of a public jury trial. Anyone who had been in a car accident civil lawsuit would know, attorneys representing the defendants would estimate their clients’ chance of winning the civil lawsuits. If the defendants’ chances of winning are slim, the defendants’ attorneys generally advise their clients to settle civil lawsuits outside of court to avoid the “UNPREDICTABLE” jurors from awarding “SURPRISING & MASSIVE $$$$” payouts to the plaintiffs, not to mention the exorbitant amount of attorney hourly fees involved in a full jury trial. So Alexander Wang has EATEN his words, he originally vowed to fight in court to clear his name in a court of law, but instead he went the easy route – paying the defendants an UNDISCLOSED amount of money to avoid a PUBLIC and HUMILIATING trial. When the Plaintiffs and Defendants have agreed on a mutual $$$ Monetary Settlement (in this case Alexander Wang came to a private UNDISCLOSED $$$$ Settlement Agreement with the Sweatshop Workers, and both sides filed a notice with the Federal Court on August 1, 2012), then almost 2 weeks later on August 13, Federal judge Harold Baer reviewed the legal notice filed on August 1 . And Judge Baer approved the legal notice that they are settling the lawsuit outside of court, hence the judge dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice (legal dictionary definition of “Dismiss With Prejudice” means it has been judged or adjudicated already, that it can’t be re-filed by the plaintiff). Law360 is the first news outlet that is reporting the settlement of the sweatshop lawsuit.
Si usted trabaja para Alexander Wang en 386 Broadway en Nueva York y quiere participar en la demanda colectiva. Contacto el abogado de los trabajadores – señor C.K. Lee, tel: 1-212-465-1188, dirección de la oficina: Kraselnik & Lee, PLLC, 30 East 39th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016 (entre Madison Avenue y Park Avenue). 31 trabajadores han participado en la demanda colectiva
如果你在紐約市百老匯386號的 Alexander Wang 王大仁 *血汗衣廠* 工作, 希望加入集體訴訟血汗衣廠, 請聯絡C.K. Lee 律師. C.K. 李律師電話: 1-212-465-1188, 辦公室地址: Kraselnik & Lee, PLLC, 曼哈頓東39街30號, 2樓 (麥迪遜大道和公園大道之間) 30 East 39th St, 2nd Fl, New York, NY 10016. 31名員工已加入集體訴訟控告Alexander Wang 王大仁的血汗衣廠.
Lawyer Hugh Mo is representing Alexander Wang. Office Phone# of Hugh Mo: 1-212-385-1500. Office address: 225 Broadway Ste 2702 New York, NY 10007. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: The 200 Square-Feet (19 Square Meters) AW sweatshop is not for the claustrophobic. The tiny AW sweatshop regularly houses 15 workers and 22 machines without air ventilation and window.
Alexander Wang was very ??*generous*?? to show off his $2 Million, 2,200 square feet (204 Sq. M) Tribeca apartment to the W magazine (see his home photos below, including his PRIVATE bedroom), but the AW has hired security guards 24/7 to prevent any intruders and spies from inspecting the 200 square feet (19 Sq. M) sweatshop where non-English speaking immigrants work at least 16 hours per day. Contrast this stinginess and cruelty on the sweatshop workers to the Alexander Wang & family members buying a collection of expensive luxury homes for themselves in New York, California and the world. See below a photo that the NYC Chinese media managed to snap outside the sweatshop. I put this heavily-guarded sweatshop photo next to the photos of the AW family’s luxury homes collection.
: I just read the comment section of a news article from New York magazine. One person made the following comment about the stingy Alexander Wang and his family. Not only are the Wangs cruel and nasty to sweatshop workers, they treat tenants in the building they own very badly. The former tenant is currently suing the Wang family in a separate lawsuit. Here’s the comments written by a self-described tenant of the Wang family.
My wife and I are both presently involved in a separate lawsuit against the Wang’s.
We lived in San Francisco in a building owned by the Wang family trust from March ’08 -Dec ’10. The same building Alexander began his business from years ago.
His brother Dennis was our absentee landlord and we had issues with his inattention to a number of problems at the basement apartment.
Whenever we had a problem such as plumbing, washer/dryer failure and a host of others basic service issues we never had any help in regard to repairs. We paid our rent on time and were good tenants but were subject to tirades from Dennis if we ever brought up problems with the apartment.
We were forced to move and threatened with utility shut down if we did not voluntarily leave within the three week notice.
We moved out just to avoid the stress and never got our sizable security deposit back.
We were forced to seek legal council and the matter is still in dispute.
They were the worst landlords my wife and I have had in the 20+ years of apartment dwelling.
We sympathize with the plaintiffs because we know the type of people they are dealing with and just how irresponsible and antagonistic they are. I wish the plaintiffs luck in their case v. the Wangs. You would think that with all the success they have had in their business they might treat employees and tenants a little better.
: To all gullible fashionista out there, the sweatshop lawsuit is still very much alive and kicking against Alexander Wang. Reporter(s) at the NY Observers recently interviewed the lawyer, C.K. Lee, who represents the sweatshop workers at Alexander Wang about the Federal lawsuit and about sweatshop boss Alexander Wang designing $95 campaign T-shirt for Barack Obama. It’s a “nice” touch by President Obama to support a sweatshop boss. I bet Alexander Wang and his greedy family is a major campaign donor and bundler for Obama.
: I’m glad that we won’t see any “Cat Fights” between 2 grown men (Lawyers Hugh Mo and Ming Hai) over the Alexander Wang lawsuit. These 2 grown men (their combined age exceeds 100, by the way) made their feud very public in NYC Chinese community. Because the Alexander Wang sweatshop lawsuit has successfully transferred to the Federal Court last Friday (March 23, 2012) by new lawyer C.K. Lee from Kraselnik & Lee, PLLC. Lawyer Hugh Mo who represents Alexander Wang has 20 days to respond to the federal civil complaints. The Team AW made some very lame statements to the WWD saying that the lawsuit was raised by one disgruntled ex-employee (Wenyu Lu) who was harassing and bullying other workers. But the Team AW did not address why another worker Flor Duarte joined the sweatshop lawsuit as the 31st worker against Alexander Wang – the other 29 or so workers do NOT want to be named publicly for fear of getting fired for revenge reasons. Team AW also did not address why Wenyu Lu was able to work peacefully at another fashion/garment business owned by an Italian boss for 12 years (1996 to 2008) until the Italian boss retired and closed down the shop in NYC before taking on the AW sweatshop job in August 2008. Wenyu Lu worked 3 1/2 years (August 2008 to February 2012) at the Alexander Wang sweatshop.
According to Racked NY and Refinery 29, the 10-feet tall windows at the 4,000 sq. ft (372 sq. m ) Alexander Wang flagship store at 103 Grand Street had been egged by unknown person(s). I suggest they check the surveillance camera footage in the area to see who did it. Either the AW haters did it, or the Team AW people did it themselves to elicit sympathy from fashionista and socialite who shop his sweatshop fashion. If you have good eyesight and observation, this “egged” photo was taken by a woman with long blonde hair with a cell phone. By the way, my Chinese friend said the AW could be intentionally hiring lawyer Hugh Mo to handle the sweatshop lawsuit in order to distract people from the real sweatshop issues. It’s an open secret among NYC Chinese community that lawyers Ming Hai and Hugh Mo have bitter feud in the past – their male version of the “Cat Fights” could end up being the center of the media attention instead of the Sweatshop workers. Imagine how hilarious it will sound in the English-speaking media, “Mo and Hai”, “Hai and Mo” this and that. Think about bitter rivals Angelina Jolie vs. Jennifer Aniston and bad neighbors India vs. Pakistan starting their Cat Fights or their Nuclear War (both countries have Nuclear weapons). It’s a wise decision for Ming Hai to take the sweatshop lawsuit to lawyers who are specialists in labor/employment law at the Federal Court level to duke it out.
: According to the New York Post, the lawsuit is changing its venue from Queens County Supreme Court to the Federal Court. Lawyer Ming Hai said this Alexander Wang sweatshop lawsuit will be refiled in the Federal Court and handed off to a lawyer specializing in labor/employment law. Ming Hai will continue to be a consultant on the Alexander Wang lawsuit.
The Associated Press reported on March 6, 2012 via NorthJersey.com that there were30 workers named in the lawsuit against Alexander Wang.
Lawyer Ming Hai (left) and Flor Duarte (right) who is an ex-employee of Alexander Wang at a news conference on Friday, March 9, 2012 in Flushing, NY. Ming Hai announced to the Chinese media on Friday that Flor Duarte has joined 30 other workers in a group lawsuit against Alexander Wang. Read her story below: item #4 and 5 that my Chinese friend translated. She had to work 90 hours per week immediately AFTER her surgery to meet the Fashion Week deadline. And despite not speaking English, she was tricked into signing a letter in English that robbed her basic rights. She was fired by the AW because he claimed he did not see her work performance during Fashion Week. If you can read Chinese, read the news about Flor Duarte from Sing Tao News, Chinese World Journal, and Ming Pao News.
Photo of post-surgery scar on a worker, Wenyu Lu 陸文宇, who was fired shortly after he had 3 major surgeries in 2012. Read his story below: item #1, 3 and 5 that my Chinese friend translated, scroll to the bottom of this blog for the original Chinese news coverage about him and the Multi-Million dollar lawsuit against Alexander Wang.
Photo of Wenyu Lu with damaged eyesight, broken blood vessels in the eye, redness, etc. due to excessive overwork.
Wenyu Lu is an experienced tailor with 30+ years of tailoring experience. He legally immigrated to the US with his family in 1996. Before this AW sweatshop job, he worked for a fashion/garment business owned by Italian in NYC for 12 years until the boss retired and closed down the shop. Since he joined the AW sweatshop in August 2008, he had been overworked so badly that he developed gallstones and other health problems, requiring 3 major surgeries in 2012. He showed his paystub for February 2012 showing that he worked nearly 100 hours per week. Click on the Paystub photo itself to ENLARGE it for better viewing. During Christmas to New Year period, he was working 16 hours per day at the AW. On Feb 12, 2012, this worker had worked 25 hours straight without a break, he eventually fainted and collapsed at the sweatshop. Read more about why the ruthless AW chose NOT to send the blatantly ill Wenyu Lu to a hospital below.
How ironic! Do these leather jackets look OK and presentable to you? According to the AW, the sweatshop workers Wenyu Lu, Flor Duarte and others who made these leather jackets did such lousy job that they should be terminated without basic rights. While the sweatshop worker Wenyu Lu collapsed at the sweatshop on Feb 13, 2012, struggling to work nearly 100 hours per week with major health problems. On Feb 12, 2012 at the Alexander Wang fashion show in New York, these fashion models (L-R) Karolina Kurkova, Gisele Bundchen, Shalom Harlow, and Carmen Kass were all smiling and laughing while wearing leather jackets made by sweatshop workers Wenyu Lu, Flor Duarte and others. Is Gisele doing her part as Jinxele again? See my other blog posts about Gisele Bundchen jinx, and about Gisele’s plastic surgeries on her breasts and nose.
Photos of fashion designer Alexander Wang 王大仁 (aka: the accused Slave Driver boss). Why the disgruntled face on the left photo? Is this the face you show to your sweatshop workers when you verbally abuse them by saying they are “lazy“, “stupid“, “want to be on work-strike“? (NOTE: literal translations). The photo on the right is what you normally see in public.
The accused Sweatshop family in the wholly family-owned AW business: (L-R) Brother Dennis T. Wang 王大鯤, mother Ying Ying-Wang 應鶯, designer Alexander Wang 王大仁 and sister-in-law Aimie Wang (née Lim). Missing in this photo are father Jerry ChiYu Wang 王啟瑜 and older sister Theresa Yi Wang. NOTE: sister-in-law Aimie Wang (née Lim) is the CEO at the AW accused sweatshop, and brother Dennis Wang is the Chief Principal Officer at the sweatshop and mother Ying Ying Wang also work at the AW accused sweatshop.
The accused Sweatshop family: the young niece Aila Wang. Look what little Aila was wearing! She must be thinking, “If you think my uncle is cruel to sweatshop workers, do you know where he stands on animal cruelty? Have you been to my uncle’s $2 Million Tribeca apartment? He’s got a lot of dead animals, pictures of nude woman exposing breasts and buttocks”. See AW’s home photos below.
The accused Sweatshop family: the young niece Aila Wang with her mother Aimie Wang and her uncle the accused Sweatshop Slave Driver boss Alexander Wang
Although fashion designer Alexander Wang and basketball player Jeremy Lin were both born to immigrant parents from Taiwan, and both grew up in California, the similarities end there. Jeremy Lin 林書豪 is considered the Pride of Taiwan, but Alexander Wang 王大仁 represents the Shame of Taiwan to some of my Chinese sources. Fashion designer Alexander Wang 王大仁 (AW) is NO struggling designer having trouble paying his rent and utilities bills. In 2011, Alexander Wang reportedly earned $25 Million ($25,000,000). AW grew up in a wealthy family in San Francisco, California. His immigrant parents Jerry ChiYu Wang 王啟瑜 and Ying Ying Wang 應鶯 own a successful business called Pan Pacific Plastics Manufacturing, Inc in California, the actual plastics factories are located in China. I believe AW’s mother Ying Ying Wang also owns a real estate development company called Hegenberger Land, Inc in California. AW’s paternal uncle 王啟元 is the owner of a construction company called I Cheng Construction & Development Corporation 毅成建設股份有限公司 in Taiwan, responsible for building the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall 國父紀念館and the National Taiwan University Hospital 台大醫院 in Taiwan.
One can imagine the level of shame Alexander Wang is bringing to his own name: the accused ruthless Sweatshop boss, as well as embarrassment to his relatives in Taiwan. The rumor in Chinatown is that Alexander Wang also evades Payroll taxes by hiring illegal immigrants off-the-book. As my Chinese friend says, “What else is new from a cheap and cruel Chinese family (from mother to adult children) whose single obsession in life is to make big profit?”. In case you didn’t know, Alexander Wang is very focused on designing ready-to-wear clothing (as opposed to couture) that can sell for money (good for the profit margin).
Photo of Alexander Wang 王大仁 and his very wealthy mother Ying Ying Wang 應鶯. His immigrant parents Jerry ChiYu Wang 王啟瑜 and Ying Ying Wang 應鶯 own a successful business called Pan Pacific Plastics Manufacturing, Inc in California, the actual plastics factories are located in China.
Consistent with the Chinese family business belief that the most qualified job candidates are within the family (aka: nepotism), AW’s older cousin 王大任 works as the Vice President at the I Cheng Construction & Development Corp 毅成建設股份有限公司 where his father 王啟元 (aka: AW’s paternal uncle) is the big boss. This construction company was established in 1950 in Taiwan. For anyone who believed they were poor immigrants when they moved to California in the 1970’s (before AW was born), you were just too gullible. See the photo of AW’s cousin below.
Bottom row, the 3rd person from the left with the light grey tie and smiling, showing his teeth is AW’s older cousin 王大任 (literally, his Chinese first name means “big responsibility). You can click on the photo to ENLARGE it for better viewing.
Alexander Wang went to a privileged boarding school, the Drew School, alongside his best friend the socialite Victoria Traina. Victoria Traina is the daughter of novelist Danielle Steele whose net worth is about $50 Million ($50,000,000). Instead of sharing rooms with his classmates in the boarding school, Alexander Wang was living in an apartment in a building owned by his parents Jerry ChiYu Wang 王啟瑜 and Ying Ying Wang 應鶯 in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. Since AW launched his alleged sweatshop, his mother Ying Ying Wang 應鶯 and brother Dennis T. Wang 王大鯤 are “helping out” (Hmm) on the AW business. Dennis Wang is the Chief Principal Officer at the AW accused sweatshop. His sister-in-law Aimie Wang (née Lim) works as the CEO at the accused AW sweatshop. By the way, when mother Ying Ying Wang was 41-years-old, she did not anticipate having Alexander Wang – the future accused Slave Driver Sweatshop boss, with her regular birth control protection. There is a big age gap between Alexander Wang and his two older siblings: sister Theresa and brother Dennis. His older brother Dennis Wang is 19 years older than AW. Dennis’ wife Aimie is 9 years younger than Dennis, and she is 10 years older than AW.
My Chinese friend says Chinese people like to own real estate for asset appreciation. No kidding! And that the cheapest and stingiest Chinese bosses tend to be the wealthiest, because they don’t know how to share. My Chinese sources tell me Alexander Wang looks at every number and profit margin in the sweatshop business, quite a micromanaging boss. As Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren famously said, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own”. Warren rejects the concept that it is possible for Americans to become wealthy in isolation.
“You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”
She continues: “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”
Of course, cheap Sweatshop bosses don’t think like that. When the AW sweatshop workers become ill and hospitalized due to extensive overwork, the AW deems the workers no longer u$eful and a big liability to him. My take on “becoming a liability “as in raising the group medical insurance premium of the AW, slowing down his sweatshop factory production and hurting the profitability of his multi-million dollar fashion empire. The Wang family wants to buy as many real estate property as possible. It’s not enough for them to own less than a handful of expensive apartments in NYC. There are 5 major points translated by my friend (listed later in the blog, next to the photo of model Gisele Bundchen in black leather jacket), read point #1 to understand the rationale and mentality of the cheap Chinese Sweatshop bosses on why the AW chose NOT to send a collapsed worker to the hospital. Besides owning an ENTIRE apartment building in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California, the Wang family owns quite a few expensive real estate property in California and New York City. Here is a list of apartments owned by the various Wang family members in NYC. FYI, the building housing the accused AW sweatshop at 386 Broadway, New York, NY 10013 is owned by Florentine Music & Tutorial, Inc.
1) 39 Worth Street, #3E, New York, NY 10013 – Alexander Wang bought this 2,200 square feet apartment in June 2010 for $2,000,000 (a discount of $950,000). See the pictures of this Tribeca townhouse with 1 bedroom, 2 bathrooms and 6 rooms in total. The first 4 interior photos were taken BEFORE the apartment was sold to Alexander Wang. See how Alexander Wang spent 8 months to redecorate his $2,000,000 home.
AFTER Alexander Wang spent 8 months renovating his $2,000,000 apartment. To see his $Million home up close, click on the photo itself to ENLARGE it for better viewing. The W magazine got the interview and home photos of AW.
Notice lots of dead animals and fur. Alexander Wang is making a big statement about PETA either for or against (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), you decide.
Alexander Wang feels 100% fine to show you his PRIVATE bedroom and the rest of his 2,200 square feet (204 Square Meters) apartment for one (or two people), but he feels “It’s none of your business” to show you his 200 square feet (19 Square Meters) sweatshop occupied by 22 machines and 15 workers on a normal work day.
The NYC Chinese media know their way around NYC Chinatown, they snapped this cell phone-quality photo in a hurry shortly after they got off the elevator. Alexander Wang hires security guards 24/7 to guard against “intruders and spies” from entering the 200 square feet (19 square meters) sweatshop. Why so evasive if he has nothing to hide? Unless he does have lots of dirty stuff to hide. Looks like the AW is hiding something. Is the truth too ugly to be shown to the fashionista and socialite who buy his $10,000 coat?
2) 175 East 2nd Street, #3B, New York, NY 10009 – Alexander Wang and his very wealthy mother Ying Ying Wang bought this apartment in 2005 for $675,000, and the Wangs sold it in September 2009 for $750,000.
3) 132 Greene Street, #4F, New York, NY 10012 – CEO Aimie Wang and CPO Dennis Wang bought this apartment in Decemeber 2007 for $1,575,000. My Chinese sources say this apartment at 132 Greene Street is the Wang *power* couple’s primary residence. Feel free to verify for yourself.
4) 16 Crosby Street, #2F, New York, NY 10013 – CEO Aimie Wang and CPO Dennis Wang bought this 2,700 square-feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths apartment in July 2011 for $2,375,000.
5) 35 Mercer Street, #2W, New York, NY 10013 – CEO Aimie Wang and CPO Dennis Wang are renting this 1,850 square-feet 2 bedroom, 2 baths apartment for about $10,500 per month.
6) 275 Greenwich Street, #5ON, New York, NY 10007 – CEO Aimie Wang and CPO Dennis Wang bought this 464 square-feet studio apartment in August 2010 for $480,000. See pictures of this Tribeca apartment.
My Chinese friend has translated some of the Chinese media coverage about AW that were not reported in the English-speaking media. The Chinese media coverage are listed at the end of this blog for anyone who can read Chinese. I organized the Chinese news sorted by date in links and JPEG format, newspapers only, excluding Chinese TV and radio coverages. The accused AW sweatshop factory sounded like the harsh factory conditions in the Charles Dickins novels according to one of the NYC Chinese newspaper. NOTE: in the AW accused sweatshop, 15 workers and 22 machines regularly occupy inside the 200 square feet factory (18.5 Square Meters) at 386 Broadway in New York City. The alleged sweatshop has NO air-ventilation, and NO windows.
Contrast Alexander Wang’s “??openness??” about his big 2,200 Square Feet Apartment and the 4,000 Sq. Ft. Flagship store with his *evasiveness* about the sweatshop, how his security guards block the media from inspecting the 200 Sq. Ft. sweatshop. The Chinese media managed to snap this cell phone quality photo to show that Alexander Wang has hired security guards 24/7 to prevent “intruders and spies” from entering the accused forbidden sweatshop.
Watch this YouTube video where Alexander Wang was so eager to show the public “The Making of 103 Grand Street” – his 4,000 square feet (372 square meters) flagship store, but he’s so secretive (is he ashamed?) about the 200 square feet (19 square meters) sweatshop factory at 386 Broadway.
You are probably asking, why is AW setting up such a small 200 square feet sweatshop in Lower Manhattan? The AW needs an on-site accused sweatshop factory (on either the 5th or 6th Fl. ) and a showroom (on the 3rd Floor) at 386 Broadway in NYC for the following reason: if the clients like the garment samples made by the NYC sweatshop workers, the AW then notifies the accused sweatshop factories in China to mass-produced the garment.
I read a very ignorant fashionista (probably a Trust-Fund baby) asked this question about these sweatshop workers: these workers have a choice to quit the sweatshop, don’t they? How about this ignorant fashionista try living in a foreign country when you don’t understand the local language, and you are over 40 years old with no education degree, no job skills other than handling garment? On top of all that, you have children to support hoping your kids will get a good education in the new country with a brighter future than your own. Some sweatshop workers are undocumented/illegal immigrants, the AW knows very well that he could be as abusive as he wants on illegal immigrants fearing deportation.
US immigration officials beware: my Chinese sources say some of the NYC sweatshop workers at the AW are undocumented/illegal immigrants. All the self-righteous fashion customers who are anti-illegal immigrants (such as in France, or most Republican voters in the US), you are unconsciously supporting the very illegal immigrants you work so hard against. Tax evasion alert! Attention Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Tax Department: Has Alexander Wang been evading taxes? It’s very easy to evade Federal, State and Local Payroll taxes on illegal immigrants. They are undocumented and they are most likely paid in cash for their work, with no audit trail.
I am urging all journalists worth his/her press credentials to investigate the Alexander Wang factories in foreign countries as well as in the US for sweatshop working conditions. I heard the AW has a factory in Shanghai, China. You should interview the factory workers in China to see if the AW systematically treats all workers as slaves.
The AW allegedly wants his workers to cut corners, and take short cuts in the production of high-end fashion. So much for *Snobbish* fashionista paying hefty prices for low-quality, super-rush job done by over-stressed, and over-worked slaves, some workers are actually the same undocumented workers that these fashionista are so against. What an irony!
Hire Chinese translators for the following news published in the 3 largest NYC Chinese newspapers about the Alexander Wang (AW) accused sweatshop. There are a few local NYC Chinese TV and Chinese radio stations that also made coverage about Alexander Wang’s accused sweatshop, but my Chinese friend is only translating the essential points, not the entire news from the newspapers. These NYC Chinese newspapers have sister affiliates, or parent companies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan which regularly re-broadcast these news to the Asian affiliates.
Certain points brought up by the workers in the accused Alexander Wang sweatshop, as reported in the much more extensive coverage by the Chinese media. The English-speaking media failed to pick up these details about the Slave Driver story.
1) One of the worker, Wenyu Lu, had been overworked so much that he developed gallstones (or stones in the stomach, literal translation). His eyesight damaged and filled with redness, broken blood vessels in the eyes due to extensive overwork. He also has breathing/respiratory problems. So far, he has had 3 major surgeries due to extensive overwork. On February 12, 2012, he was working from 9am to 10am the next day (25 consecutive work hours without a break), he wanted to take a break (literal translation). But the AW warned him that if he took a break, he would be fired. On the same long work day, he fainted in the sweatshop factory. Instead of sending the worker to a hospital, the AW called a cab to send the worker to his home in Elmhurst, Queens. My Chinese friend understands the typical Chinese “Slave Driver” boss mentality and made the following presumptions and explainations on why the AW sent the fainting worker home instead of to a hospital: (1) The AW doesn’t want the group medical insurance Claims to go up (and jacking up the group medical insurance Premiums), (2) the AW was hoping the worker could have died at home (not triggering workers compensation), (3) should the worker not die at home, the AW did not want the worker to see a doctor, incurring medical claims and eventually leading to an increase in group medical insurance premium. Again, these are Chinese presumptions on Chinese “Slave Driver” boss behavior. Purely behavioral observations on fellow Chinese cheap bosses. Seven days later (Feb 19 or 20), the worker felt very sick and he was sent to the Emergency Room at Elmhurst Hospital. He was hospitalized for 12 days receiving 3 major surgeries. The AW was unhappy with him being “absent” from work for 12 long days for multiple surgeries. The AW penalized this hospitalized worker by docking his Sick Days pay!!! Then the AW fired him and then tried to force him to sign letters in English he doesn’t understand, see #5 below.
Gisele Bundchen wore this black leather jacket at the Alexander Wang fashion show on Feb 12, 2012 in New York City. This black leather jacket was made by sweatshop workers Wenyu Lu and others. Wenyu Lu was recently fired by the AW shortly after having 3 major surgeries. The AW docked his Sick Days Pay when he was hospitalized for 12 days at Elmhurst Hospital.
2) A number of workers worked 16 hours per day, 84 hours per week but did NOT get overtime pay.
3) A number of workers complained that a good-quality leather pants normally require 12 hours in total production time, from cutting to finish, but Alexander Wang required them to finish it in less than 4 hours. The AW threatened the worker not to go home without finishing it under such compressed time demand. The AW also verbally abused these workers telling them they are “lazy“, “stupid“, “want to be on work-strike” (NOTE: literal translations).
4) In early January, 2012 a Latino worker Flor Duarte was diagnosed with health problems in her breasts which require surgery. Her doctor said her health problem was due to excessive overwork, that she needed resting time to recover. But this worker went back to work 2 days after surgery to meet the Fashion Week deadline. That meant working 90 hours per week immediately after the surgery. The AW told her that if she took a sick day, she would be fired. A good-quality leather jacket required 8 hours of production time, but AW demanded her to finish it in 1 hour! She was fired by the AW because he claimed he did not see her work performance during Fashion Week.
5) A Chinese worker, Wenyu Lu, who doesn’t understand English complained that when he was fired, he was asked to sign a letter in English. Because he doesn’t understand English, he refused to sign it. It turned out this letter was the Confidential Separation Agreement & General Release letter relinquishing the ex-employee’s rights to sue AW or bad-mouth about the AW to the public. Separately, the Latino worker Flor Duarte mentioned in #4 was fired at the end of February. She doesn’t speak English but she was asked to sign the same letter on March 6 to relinquish her rights to sue AW or bad-mouth about the AW. She was misled to sign the letter. But the workers’ lawyer said the worker has 8 days to change his/her mind regarding this letter to give up the rights to sue the employer. Therefore, on March 9 (still within 8 days period) the lawyer helped her notarized another letter to notify AW that she has changed her mind within the legally allowed period under the law, that she intends to sue the AW instead of giving up her rights to sue her ex-employer.
Below are the links and news in JPEG format. If you can read Chinese, click on the “Date and the Chinese news organization” to read the link in Chinese. For Ming Pao News, you can click on the photo itself to enlarge the JPEG file for better viewing of the Chinese news.
March 10, 2012: Chinese World Journal Five days after the sweatshop/slave driver story broke out, the Alexander Wang camp had been silent on the lawsuit filed according to the CWJ. They finally woke up on Day 5, sipped some coffee and spoke to the Chinese media to do some damage control. There are more details in the news which my friend doesn’t have time to translate word-for-word. But you can pay professional translators if you want.
March 9, 2012: Chinese World Journal Latino worker Flor Duarte is joining the lawsuit against fashion designer Alexander Wang for the sweatshop working conditions. She is the 31st worker named in the group lawsuit against Alexander Wang.
March 9, 2012: Sing Tao News Latino worker Flor Duarte at lawyer Ming Hai’s office. This offers a bit more details than what the CWJ published on the same date.
March 9, 2012: Ming Pao News – click on the picture itself to enlarge it for better viewing.
March 8, 2012: Chinese World Journal When Chinese worker Wenyu Lu was fired by Alexander Wang, Mr. Lu was asked (Hmm, tricked/misled) to sign a letter in English which he doesn’t understand. It turned out this letter was meant to prevent Mr. Lu from ever suing the fashion designer Alexander Wang or bad-mouth about his ex-employer. Luckily, Mr. Lu refused to sign it.
March 8, 2012: Sing Tao News The alleged sweatshop at Alexander Wang is a big topic among NYC Chinese in the garment industry.
March 8, 2012: Ming Pao News – click on the picture itself to enlarge it for better viewing.
March 7, 2012: Chinese World Journal Chinese worker Wenyu Lu’s lawyer Ming Hai released photos of the injuries of the worker due to sweatshop work conditions.
March 7, 2012: Sing Tao News similar to the news by the CWJ on the same date. But with much more details. The ST news reporter got extensive coverage about the sweatshop working conditions, about the civil lawsuit complaints, etc.
March 7, 2012: Sing Tao News description about Alexander Wang
March 6, 2012: Chinese World Journal Chinese worker Wenyu Lu and a few dozen co-workers are filing a group lawsuit against fashion designer Alexander Wang for the sweatshop working conditions. This news was translated from the New York Post into Chinese.
March 6, 2012: Sing Tao News This news was translated from the New York Post into Chinese, similar to the news from Chinese World Journal published on the same date 3/16/2012.
March 6, 2012: Ming Pao News – click on the picture itself to enlarge it for better viewing.