PRADA Japan’s ex-manager, Rina Bovrisse, has lost the lawsuit she filed against the company for discrimination. Bovrisse was fired in March 2010 after opposing Prada Japan’s President, David Sesia and Human Resources manager, Hiroyuki Takahashi who asked Bovrisse to lose weight and change her appearance in order for her to be a better representative of the brand. According to Bovrisse, they also requested that she terminated female employees who were not aesthetically pleasing lacking the “Prada look.” Bovrisse sued for ¥58 million (Yen), which is approximately $727,000 USD. On 26 October 2012, Tokyo District Court judge, Reiko Morioka, ruled that while “It may be insensitive for the president to tell an employee (to lose weight), but considering the nature of Prada’s business (and other factors), it cannot be recognized that it is bad enough to cause emotional distress worth compensation.” The Tokyo District Court did not see any harm in such demands being that Bovrisse worked in an industry where image is everything. Bovrisse responded, “This ruling means the company and bosses can do whatever they want and anything is allowed in workplaces of the fashion industry.” Prada is countersuing Bovrisse for ¥33 million claiming she has tainted its image.
On a personal note, we feel this was a lose-lose situation for both parties. What concerns us the most is what the judicial system in Japan is stating concerning women’s rights. Moreover, Prada’s executives, Takahashi and Sesia, did admit to have made such statements, if PRADA has kept them as employees whether Bovrisse lost the case or not, this means they support such bias behavior and disparaging remarks. It is baffling that they are still employed by the label. It seems to us that after hearing the demands of these two men, Bovrisse is not the one to fault for ruining the company’s image.
Source: The Japan Times
We interviewed Bovrisse in the past, you can read the article here.