By Paul Pannone
Yesterday’s meeting in New York attended by all major media publications was called an unprecedented event, bringing together competing companies to all work for a common cause. The meeting was part of the ongoing efforts led by Steve Lang of Mon Cheri Bridals. Lang announced he was waging war against Chinese pirates who steal designs, make knock off copies and sell direct to American consumers in March. In less than a month Lang has garnered support from major manufacturers, media and a growing list of accomplishments that may very well put a dent in the assault in this country.
For the first time in history major members of the wedding media came together to support Steve Lang’s effort of fighting off foreign thieves.
Esteemed media members of the wedding business including Stephanie Nicolet of the Knot, Jim Duhe of Bridal Guide, Linda Korman of Hearst Corporation, Amy P. Wilkins Martha Stewart Weddings, Chike Kwobu of Munaluchi Bridal, and representatives from Brides among others attended the meeting.
Duhe told eWedNewz, “This was an unprecedented event; where all the major publications were all in the same room and are working together for a common cause.”
Dollars and pledged support for Lang’s move to unify the wedding industry– not just the dress business– is being met with growing interest.
“I am please to tell everyone that in three short weeks we have raised $almost $120,000 in cash and $250,000 in media support. A $370,000 war chest,” reported Lang.
In a follow up telephone call Lang told eWedNewz of future plans to create an organization that would include manufacturers, workers, sales help and all other segments of the wedding business, providing health care options and better programs for American workers in the wedding business. But Lang says his immediate focus is to make it as difficult as possible for Chinese pirates to do business.
Lang spoke in a clear, concise tone, valuing each opinion in New York and Chicago. Lang is leaving on a month-long mission to visit his factories in China to inspect and demand full coöperation in the fight against piracy.
In an update Lang said he is meeting with more shipping, financial and political figures who have been supportive.
“We’re getting to the people we need to get to and they’re sympathetic to what’s happening. They see it, not just in our business but in all businesses. This country is under attack, I am convinced of that. This is the only feasible way we can fight these people,” he told eWedNewz.
At the meeting Lang outlined the plan in a consistent, easy to understand way. Throughout the coverage, Lang builds on solid foundation, led by legal standards of operation. He told the gathering proper channels require documentation and cited a recent court ruling in favor of True Religion.
“In my follow-up and meetings being planned, everyone is aware of what happened at True Religion. With that ruling the right channels are listening a lot closer because now they can act and not just be sympathetic,” said Lang.
In today’s follow up to the meeting Lang told eWedNewz how he regrets having to throw one of his colleagues under the bus. Calling Larry Warshaw of Justin Alexander a distraction, Lang says he feels bad for the man.
“I had to warn the people in that room of the attacks and had to put him (Warshaw) on notice with my legal team. Not only are his remarks made against me slanderous, it’s not good for the industry and wanted to be sure they all knew about it. I feel sorry for the guy,” said Lang.
Other members at the meeting told eWedNewz they support Lang, breathing a sigh of relief that finally, something is being done that you can see, feel and understand. Some even took a swipe at the IBMA calling the group an ambiguous bunch that have done nothing throughout their entire existence.
Lack of leadership at the IBMA organization was denounced by several members of yesterday’s meeting wanting to know why they don’t hand over a larger part of the fund they’re holding to support Lang’s campaign. The organization reportedly offered a token donation but has so far not forked over a dime.
Lang told the gathering he’s expending his own resources to get the movement up and running and was proud to announce not a single penny of monies collected has been spent. In his most recent update, Lang reiterated what he said at the meeting:
“Final comment—NOT ONE PENNY HAS BEEN SPENT…ALL LEGAL WORK HAS BEEN ABSORBED SO FAR BY COUNSEL AND NO FEES WILL BE INCURRED UNTIL WE HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE READY TO EXECUTE.”
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