November 21, 2011 2:13pm PT by Eriq Gardner
'Project Runway' Star Sued By Talent Agency Over Shoe Deal
Christian Siriano has gone from Project Runway winner to Payless to a new lawsuit from his talent agency that demands he pay up.
Siriano, who is most remembered for his "fierce" catch-phrase on Project Runway, signed a deal in 2008 with Payless to create footwear for the company's 4,500 retail stores. The partnership has garnered some attention in the fashion industry as the discount footwear retailer looks to become the next Target by collaborating with notable designers.
Designer's Management Agency says it was responsible for securing the deal and that it "substantially negotiated" the licensing agreement.
According to a lawsuit filed against Siriano last week, DMA orally promised to pay a 20 percent commission. According to court documents, Siriano got a $35,000 design fee and also gets a royalty rate of 2.5% of sold products. He's also guaranteed at least $50,000 for each of the Fall and Spring collections and $30,000 for each of the Summer and Holiday collections.
The initial term of the agreement between Siriano and Payless was two years, with automatic renewal thereafter unless either party provided written notice.
DMA says that in February 2010, he requested that he be paid directly from Payless, and since that time, the agency hasn't gotten commissions.
The agency now says it is owed at least $53,000. It also wants an accounting.