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Valentino faces $207M lawsuit for breaking lease on Manhattan storefront

Valentino faces $207M lawsuit for breaking lease on Manhattan storefront
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Luxury design house Valentino SpA is facing a $207.1 million lawsuit after the landlord of its former American flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue accused the Italian brand of breaking its lease illegally and leaving the building damaged, multiple outlets report.

Valentino closed up shop at the four-story Fifth Avenue location in December amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The owner of the location at 693 Fifth Ave. claims the fashion house is liable for rent until July 2029 when the lease is set to expire, according to Reuters.

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In addition to rent, the landlord is charging Valentino over damages, allegedly including holes and paint on the Venetian Terrazzo marble panels, to the tune of $12.9 million.

The lawsuit comes months after Valentino requested that courts terminate the brand's 16-year lease on the space, citing impacts and regulations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Fox Business reports.

"In the current social and economic climate, filled with COVID-19-related restrictions, social distancing measures, a lack of consumer confidence and a prevailing fear of patronizing, in-person, 'non-essential' luxury retail boutiques, Valentino's business at the premises has been substantially hindered and rendered impractical, unfeasible and no longer workable," the luxury brand argued.

The suit was dismissed on Jan. 27 by Justice Andrew Borrok, who ruled the lease favored the landlord. Valentino is appealing the decision, according to Reuters.