By Paul Pannone
After a trip visiting factories in China, Steve Lang, owner of Mon Cheri, gave eWedNewz an update on the war against wedding websites and the growing loss of revenue to piracy and knock-off products. Since the March declaration of war Lang’s efforts has raised nearly $500,000 in hard cash and commitments from wedding-related organizations, including rivals and critics that are unified by the off-shore assault and lost revenue.
No good deed goes uncriticized. Steve Lang was forced to discuss unfounded allegations while building a system to help wedding gown retailers.
In an eWedNewz interview Lang admits the sale of prom gowns was challenged this season.
“Thank God our sales in wedding-related products is way up to cover what we missed in proms,” he told eWedNewz.
According to Lang’s estimate the US market lost over a half million sales to illegal transactions between American consumers and direct sales from China. The staggering number submitted by Lang contradicts an ongoing eWedNewz poll that shows 59% of respondents would be in favor of spending a little bit more for American-made products. Overall 84% would pay more or care about where products are made. Only 16% say it doesn’t matter where products are made or don’t care.
During the interview Lang says there is a new organization to help the wedding industry on the horizon. Details and finishing touches will be shared in the weeks ahead, along with other significant information.
eWedNewz asked why updates weren’t as frequent and non-existent towards the end of his trip. Lang said he was advised by his legal counsel not to tip-off critics sullied by angst or give them cause for any misinterpretation of the facts. Lang said he feels the perpetrators are closely watching everything that’s being said while a strategy that aligns with recent court victories get set to be deployed.
eWedNewz directly asked Lang whether his company is engaged in any direct sale of either knock-off or first quality Mon Cheri brand products.
In reply to direct questions involving any wrong-doing Lang fired back the following statement in the Wedding Water Cooler forum:
“No one here sells directly to consumers other than a stray personal for a family or friend. Each of those instances needs to be approved by me.
Sounds like someone is attempting to make trouble. Fair warning. If you know me, you know I will give the shirt off my back to you if you are in need of help. By the same token, be advised that if you idly make allegations that are false, you do not want to be in the same universe with me.”
Discussions and hard-core questions with Lang nearly floored the man who eats, breathes and lives the wedding business. In every communication Lang categorically denies any action that would ever hurt any of his accounts. Lang pointed out how his worst enemies and critics embrace the ongoing efforts.
In addition, Lang’s company was a victim of piracy during his trip. Lang answered all questions and consistently stayed on point during the interview. In an almost monotone voice he said:
“Even Wen Wu, whom I’ve sued, gave money to this cause, need I say more?” asks Lang.
Several times throughout the grilling Lang, known for his litigious tendencies, emphatically cautioned the sources of the unsubstantiated allegations.
Fellow esteemed members of the Wedding industry and Water Cooler privately contacted this newZ source, asking what was happening. Jim Duhe said the following in the forum:
“I seriously doubt that Steve is personally responsible for a pipeline of gowns direct to consumers. It would be counterproductive for him to spend his own time and money to combat this problem if he was a source or one of the sources.I’d be shocked to discover that any of Steve Lang’s staff is a party to selling gowns directly to consumers, either.
I’m certain that Steve would discharge anyone immediately if this kind of activity were discovered. The Mon Cheri staff is like family. This kind of business would be the same as biting the hand that feeds you. This isn’t to say that it “couldn’t” happen but it’s highly unlikely that it would happen.
Frankly, I don’t see what purpose is served by accusing Steve or his staff of this kind of activity. It diverts attention away from the real problem of curtailing the culprits who are responsible for pirating images and selling gowns direct from factories.”
In a telephone conversation after Duhe’s written reply he told eWedNewz, “If Steve was behind it, it wouldn’t be such a mess that it is; it would be done right and never discovered– that’s why I know it’s false. Whatever he does, he does in exemplary fashion.”
eWedNewz Continues our coverage of this story and welcomes your thoughts and comments. Post them here or contact us at 516-312-0090 or Paul@ewednewz.com
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