An Australian woman successfully sued the Italian fashion label Prada after spilling champagne on her $1,500 silk skirt.
Catherine Whitty wore the skirt for her 40th birthday party, but was surprised when her dry cleaner told her the French champagne she spilled on it could not be removed. In fact, the dry cleaner said any liquid, including rain, would have ruined the exceedingly delicate skirt.
Whitty claimed she told the staff at the Melbourne Prada that she was buying the piece for a champagne celebration. Why then had they not told her how easily the skirt could be damaged?
Prada argued that the stain “was not caused by us.”
Prada retail operations manager Albin Cheng said Whitty should have taken due care of the garment while she wore it. He also implied that Whitty waited too long to take it into the dry cleaners after it was stained.
Taking her case to the consumer tribunal, Prada was ordered to refund Whitty’s $1,522 for the skirt. Tribunal member Peter Moloney said that, unless sold with a warning, garments are expects to withstand normal hazards like rain.