Alexander Wang Sued For $50 Million Over ‘Sweatshop’ Allegations

Alexander Wang Sued
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Alexander Wang is being sued.

A top designer is being accused of "exploiting" his employees—and, no, it's not Marc Jacobs and his unpaid models.

Alexander Wang, generally regarded as the darling of New York City's downtown fashion scene, has been hit with a $50 million lawsuit charging him with abusing workers at his Chinatown "sweatshop," the New York Post reports.

Filed in Queens Supreme Court, the class-action lawsuit from 30 Wang employees alleges that the designer and his brother Dennis violated several state labor laws by creating harsh working conditions at his property at 386 Broadway, which the paper describes as "suffocating" and "windowless."

Plaintiffs say that they were forced to work 16-hour days without overtime pay, resulting in injuries and illnesses.

Wenyu Lu, 56, alleges that he was fired on February 16 after objecting to the conditions and filing a claim for worker's compensation. Lu's lawyer says his client collapsed at his workstation after working 25 hours straight, resulting in a lengthy hospital stay.

Lu also charges that he was told that he would be fired if he failed to follow orders, including one to "knit and perfect" a pair of leather pants in just four hours, as opposed to the 12 he says it would normally take.

Wang, who is looking to open 15 more stores by the end of the year, had no comment, with reps saying they had not yet been served with the suit.

Stay tuned as details unfold.

Update: Wang's reps have responded to Women's Wear Daily denying the allegations:

“The company takes its obligations to comply with the law very seriously, including the relevant wage and hour regulations, the payment of overtime to eligible employees and having a safe working environment for all of our employees. We will vehemently defend any allegations to the contrary.”