The fashion brand BLANC & ECLARE, owned by former Girls’ Generation member Jessica, is facing legal actions over its inability to pay rent on time, resulting in a forced enforcement procedure.
According to Starnews on May 25th, the Seoul Central District Court recently carried out a forced execution against BLANC & ECLARE, a brand known to have been launched by Jessica and her partner Tyler Kwon. A forced execution is a legal process in which the state uses compulsory power to fulfill a judicial duty not performed by an individual or entity.
BLANC & ECLARE faced a lawsuit for overdue rent from the building owner, into which the brand moved in December 2021 in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam District, Seoul. The parties had entered a lease contract in September 2020, but from August 2021, the brand appears to have been in arrears, prompting the lawsuit.
BLANC & ECLARE countered on May 25th that they had, in fact, experienced business disruption from the building owner.
The brand, which runs a fashion store BLANC & ECLARE on the first floor and restaurant Clareau on the second floor, explained, “During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when the restaurant business was struggling, we asked the building owner if we could delay the rent payment. However, our request was declined, and we were issued a certified letter with the instruction to ‘relinquish occupancy in the event of rent delinquency exceeding three months.'”
“In accordance with the government guidelines allowing operations after 10 PM, we have requested the building management to resume elevator service beyond 10 PM to facilitate late-night operations,” they further claimed. “Rather than resolving the elevator issue, the building owner stopped operating the elevator and even closed the main entrance after 10 PM.”
BLANC & ECLARE insisted, “Due to these circumstances, we had no choice but to guide customers through the first floor clothing store, which closes after 8 PM, to access the second floor. Despite the many complaints and inconveniences experienced by customers for over six months, we did our best. However, in the end, we had to decide to terminate the lease contract in early April as we could no longer sustain the business.”
According to the brand, “The building owner has been ignoring us for over three months, constantly delaying their responses, and then abruptly initiated a forced execution, disrupting our operations, and eventually forcing us to dismantle the store.” They added, “We were forced to stop operations and are still waiting for the return of our deposit. We are also considering filing a lawsuit against the building owner for our losses.”
Meanwhile, Jessica, after parting ways with Girls’ Generation, has been active in China, re-debuting as a member of a girl group through a Chinese survival show.