JLM Couture, the standout wedding gown manufacturer, announced a fact-check of Hayley Paige Gutman’s teary Instagram video reveals several falsehoods aimed at misleading the public and her fans – and disparaging her former employer.
Hayley posted the video days after New York-based JLM sued the wedding gown designer after she hijacked the company’s Instagram account and started posting content to promote her unrelated side businesses. Hayley also refused to post any content on the company-owned wedding gown brands’ social media accounts that promoted the wedding gown brands. Stuck with no access to its own social media accounts, JLM was forced to go to court to obtain the accounts’ logon information.
A Judge, hearing arguments from both sides, ordered Hayley to turn over the account’s log-on information.
The falsehood-packed video shows Paige appears intent on disparaging JLM.
Among the falsehoods reveal by a fact-check of the video are:
Hayley said, “I signed an employment agreement with JLM Couture in the summer of 2011. I was 25 years old and I did not have a lawyer.” That is not true. In fact, Hayley did have a lawyer during that first contract negotiation — and for all subsequent employment agreement negotiations. JLM insisted she have a lawyer and would never have negotiated an employment deal with anyone without them having legal counsel. In each employment agreement, there were multiple rounds of negotiations between Hayley and JLM until both parties and their respective attorneys reached an agreement each side felt was fair and mutually beneficial. Ms. Gutman was well aware of the conditions contained in the agreements which included JLM obtaining the rights to the Hayley Paige name for commerce – and Ms. Gutman and her lawyer negotiated much more lucrative compensation, specifically for the rights to the Hayley Paige name. That compensation was a percentage of sales.
Hayley said JLM is seeking control “over my Instagram account”. That is not true. The Hayley Paige bridal Instagram account was created in 2012 to promote the Hayley Paige bridal collections. It always was, and currently is, owned by the company – just as every company owns and controls its own brands and branded social media accounts. The Judge gave us control over the site after Hayley changed the passwords to the sites, refused to post content on the sites that was supportive of the bridal brands and, in fact, refused to stop posting non-bridal related content related to other businesses.
Hayley said she is not even “allowed to take down personal photos” or “thoughtful captions” from the Hayley Paige brands Instagram account. Actually, JLM had asked her weeks ago to remove from the brands’ social media platforms photos featuring non-bridal related items associated with other businesses and to re-post archived brand-related content that she had taken down – and she refused. Hayley also changed the passwords to the accounts, effectively locking out JLM. She then refused to post any new bridal collection promotions on Instagram. JLM insisted she continue to promote the line even while in contract negotiations, as the accounts had historically done. She again refused, forcing us to ask a judge for the ability to gain access to our own social media accounts. Despite Hayley’s attempt to hijack the social media accounts, we still encourage, and would welcome Hayley working with JLM to add new posts to the Instagram account — and all other bridal-related accounts — content that is supportive of the Hayley Paige brands. The brands are what everyone, including Hayley and JLM, have worked so hard to build.
Hayley said that during the current employment agreement negotiations, she felt JLM was “overreaching into my personal life and creative freedoms outside of bridal design that very much felt like a violation of my good faith.” That is not true. JLM insisted only that Hayley post on the company’s various social media platforms content focused on and supportive of the Hayley Paige bridal collection. Hayley has been a full-time employee of JLM and has been compensated exceedingly well. JLM was open to Hayley pursuing other interests and was negotiating how the parties could agree to do that in a way that did not interfere with her work with JLM and kept those efforts separate.
Hayley said that during recent talks over a new employment contract, there was an effort on her part “to obtain a new contract, one that did not feel so one-sided…” Hayley was always represented by a lawyer in every contract negotiation. The contracts were never one sided. For example, during one negotiation, Hayley and her lawyer discussed the ramifications of having JLM own the Hayley Paige name and requested to be compensated for it. JLM agreed to the request and increased Hayley’s compensation. In the current employment deal, in exchange for the rights to the collection name Hayley Paige, she negotiated for payments for sales that occur after the term of her agreement ends. JLM’s ownership of a designer’s trademarked name is not unusual in the fashion world. Both Kate Spade and Bobbi Brown sold their rights to use their name in commerce when they sold their companies – Spade sold to Liz Claiborne in 2007 and Brown sold to Estee Lauder 1995. Both women later launched other companies under new names.