Mecca wins battle against cult American brand Hourglass Cosmetics

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Australian makeup giant Mecca’s legal battle against a cult cosmetics brand backed by model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is over.

Australian makeup giant Mecca has won its legal battle with an American celebrity-endorsed brand that wanted to cancel an exclusive deal due to coronavirus restrictions.

The beauty retailer filed a lawsuit against California-based company Hourglass Cosmetics in the Supreme Court of Victoria late last year.

The cult American brand took on model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as an ambassador last year, before launching her own makeup business.

But Hourglass broke its contract with Mecca when it ended their exclusive deal and selling their products online directly to Australian and Kiwi customers, Supreme Court Justice Michael Osborne has ruled.

He concluded that the termination was “invalid and without legal value”, and that the decision to sell directly to consumers was another violation.

“Mecca will continue to stock Hourglass products both online and in stores on an exclusive basis,” a spokesperson for the company said.

“Over the past decade, we have worked closely with Hourglass to make them one of Australia and New Zealand’s most beloved beauty brands, and we look forward to continuing this partnership.

Hourglass has been contacted and said he could “not offer any comments.”

The stoush began in May last year when Hourglass chief executive Carisa Janes sent a letter to the Australian retailer to cancel its exclusive distribution contract.

Mecca had been unable to distribute its cosmetics for 28 days due to “the Covid-19 and associated government orders” in violation of a contractual clause and this immediately terminated the contract, according to the letter.

But the Australian retailer said it still sells products online and argued that Hourglass broke the deal when it sold makeup directly to Australian and New Zealand customers in October 2020.

As a result of the direct sales, Mecca has suffered “loss and damage” and the company has sought compensation, according to a statement.

However, Hourglass subsequently dropped the claim about the coronavirus store closings in June of this year, two weeks before the case went to trial.

The cosmetics company argued that the original exclusive distribution agreement was “void and unenforceable” because it was “vague, uncertain and incomplete,” according to a defense document.

Mecca founder and boss Jo Horgan spoke at the trial in August and said in a statement that the company’s marketing and promotion of Hourglass has led to “exceptional” sales for the brand in Australia. and New Zealand.

“I think Mecca was Hourglass’ biggest international market until at least 2017,” she said in her statement.

The judge ordered Hourglass to pay the costs of the makeup giant and sentenced them to mediation for damages.


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