Mossimo and Wife Change Plea to Guilty, Agree to Serve Time in Prison
Industry veteran Mossimo Giannulli and his wife have changed their tactics in the college admissions cheating scandal and will now plead guilty, according to various news reports.
Prosecutors will recommend that Mossimo serves five months in prison, and that his wife, the actress Lori Loughlin, serves two months, a deal the couple agreed to, according to news reports.
Mossimo is a longtime SES reader and still has lots of friends in the industry. We reached out to him to see if he would like to comment, but he said unfortunately, he does not have a comment at this time.
The two are accused of working with a college counselor to package their daughters as fake rowing athletes to help get them into USC. They paid $500,000 to the college counselor’s charity and to the university under the guide of donations, according to authorities.
In addition to jail time, Mossimo and Loughlin reportedly also agreed to two years of supervised release and community service.
However, the judge will decide the ultimate sentence and does not have to accept the agreed upon sentencing recommendation.
Mossimo was an industry star who turned his namesake brand into a publicly traded company, which eventually hit a rough patch. The brand had moved from the surf industry, where it had been very successful, to making high fashion, where it wasn’t.
The company was close to bankruptcy when it signed the DTR deal with Target in 2000, an arrangement that was revolutionary at the time. The Target deal introduced Mossimo to the mass market while saving the company.
The guaranteed royalty revenue from the Target deal made the Mossimo brand much more attractive to Iconix, which acquired Mossimo in a deal valued at $119 million in 2006. According to the LA Times, Mossimo reaped an estimated $88 million in cash and stock from the sale.
Target had the exclusive rights to sell the brand in the U.S. since 2000. But that relationship ended in October 2018 after Target decided to focus on creating its own new apparel labels.
Since then, Giannulli has had other successes, including creating a younger, hipper golf sportswear and accessories line called G/Fore. Giannulli sold G/Fore to traditional men’s lifestyle brand Peter Millar in 2018 for an undisclosed sum.
Giannulli and his team in Los Angeles remain responsible for the creative direction, design, and marketing, and Peter Millar operates back office functions, parent company Richemont said in its annual report. Richemont owns many luxury brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Piaget, and Montblanc in addition to the high fashion label Chloé.