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P. Diddy’s Brand Linked to Supplier Non-Payment Imbroglio

Update: June 24, 2020 12:29 p.m.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Kendall + Kylie brand clarified that the celebrity-backed label is owned by 3072541 Canada Inc., and is not currently producing in Bangladesh using Global Brands Group after Remake, in a now-deleted post, linked the Jenner sisters’ fashion venture to a supplier non-payment imbroglio in the garment-producing nation.

In a statement, CAA-GBG CEO Perry Wolfman said his company functions as the brand management division of Global Brands Group and does not design or manufacture product for the Kendall + Kylie brand. “CAA-GBG functions exclusively to connect International retailers to the Kendall & Kylie Brand,” he added.

The Global Brands website has no mention of the Kendall + Kylie brand, a review Wednesday shows, though a @dietprada Instagram post suggests the label was still appearing under the company’s roster of brands as late as Tuesday evening.

The original article below has been edited to remove references to Kendall + Kylie:

Rapper-producer-turned-fashion mogul P. Diddy has been caught in the crossfire amid reports that Global Brands Group, the company that develops and markets clothing under his brand name, is reneging on payments to garment suppliers in Bangladesh due to plunging apparel demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

P. Diddy’s Sean John collection, according to nonprofit group Remake, is leaving garment workers “quite literally at risk of starving to death” despite their respective net worths. (P. Diddy $740 million, according to Forbes.) Global Brands recorded a positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $80 million for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2019, an increase of 304 percent from the same period the year before.

Global Brands did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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In a note dated April 13, Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Denim Experts, a sustainable denim manufacturer, pleaded with Global Brands to pay him the “hundreds of thousands” of dollars it owes for products his workers made and shipped in February.

“Here my workers are hungry, they are being agitated, they are very angry,” Uddin wrote. “I have promised them to pay wages. So please please make my payment.”

Global Brands Group, a spinoff of Li & Fung, notified suppliers in late March that given the “unpredictability of the situation,” along with the potential lack of sell-through of existing inventory and in-production product, it was canceling spring and summer orders without liability, according to a letter obtained by Remake.

CEO Rick Darling told the Wall Street Journal in May that economic circumstances have driven the firm to severely curtail merchandise orders for the rest of the year. The company “is in communication with all our suppliers in an attempt to mitigate the resultant financial stress this disruption has caused,” he said.

In a move Remake dubbed ironic, P. Diddy launched a platform called Our Fair Share in April to help minority entrepreneurs and small businesses mobilize funding during the “economic devastation” brought by COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is devastating our communities and without access to stimulus funding we risk losing critical businesses that create jobs and help build opportunities and wealth in our communities,” P. Diddy, whose real name is Sean Combs, said in a statement at the time. “I created Our Fair Share to help entrepreneurs play on an even playing field and give them a chance to survive with the hope to thrive.”

Remake takes a more gimlet view, however. “We would hope that P. Diddy, who cares about COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on black and brown people, would ensure that his [Sean John] line does the same,” it wrote in a blog post. “Seems only fair.”

Remake’s #PayUp petition has amassed more than 67,000 signatures asking brands such as C&A, Gap and Kohl’s to honor their financial obligations in full and on time. Bangladesh’s garment sector, the world’s second-largest exporter of clothing after China, has seen more than $3 million in canceled orders from panicked brands and retailers, according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. Rubana Huq, the trade group’s president, recently warned that the country stares down an “irrecoverable loss” of $5 billion by the end of the fiscal year.