To all those who take an interest in YMYX:
Recently, some of our existing partner designers have told us that on social media, there are several postings with defamatory comments about our project, calling YMYX a scam, questioning that my personal experience and identity are fake, claiming that the number of designers we have in partnership with us is not more than ten, and some going so far as to claim that we are pocketing thousands of euros from designers, and that they have evidence to prove this. I believe that at the outset of any new project, there will always be questions and doubts, and as we are not yet public, for anyone who comes in contact with us to have some doubts is completely normal, and I am fully understanding of this. As a result, as long as there is no malicious intent, or defamation, or wildly false claims, then under normal circumstances, I would not have any objection. But when it comes to attacking and baseless defamatory statements, I do need to speak up, and make clear that these are simply false claims, which is why I write this open letter today at the urging of several of our partner designers, because these posts have also not only defamed YMYX, they have also caused the designers that we work with some distress. Some also have been fielding questions and concern from their friends and family, and others have suffered mental harm and emotional distress as a direct result of these posts; so under these circumstances, I must speak up on behalf of myself, YMYX and all of our partners and stakeholders, and use the truth to refute these baseless accusations that have been levied on us. Some posts have questioned why, after working on this project for more than 2 years, we still cannot show any of our progress? The fact is, as I have explained here on this site multiple times, if we rush to go to market without having our partner brands fully protected with a trademark registration of their brand, that would be an incredibly foolish and risky thing to do. First, the several hundred designers with whom we have already confirmed partnerships are still in the process of registering their trademarks in our region, we cannot make public their brands because if we do so, many of them will be jeopardized and at risk for "trademark trolls" to pre-emptively register their brands, prior to the designers themselves being able to secure the mark. In China, many unscrupulous persons or entities have made pre-emptively registering the trademark of a foreign brand a real business; they used to target big brands like MUJI, and Nike, but now, have moved on to also target small or unknown foreign brands; they lie in wait, and surreptitiously register the trademark under many key categories before the brand enters the China market, so that when the brands do enter, they are faced with the inability to sell unless they buy the name back, often, at very inflated prices. If we already start to promote, and to market our partner brands in China before the registration of trademarks are confirmed, and the "trademark trolls" have a chance to pre-empt their registration, then when we try to promote and sell, the third party will not make a noise; but once the brand is successful in China, they will immediately sue the designer, and sue YMYX, blocking commercial activity, peppering us with lawsuits along the way, because the brand already has value and influence, and this would do real damage to the brand. We would face similar situations as MUJI did when they lost their trademark battle to an unheard-of Chinese company - they were forced to pay a severe financial penalty, were ordered by the court to publicly apologize to this third party, and had to cease all sales of products for categories in which the trademark was pre-emptively stolen:
Asia One: Muji Ordered to Pay Chinese Firm After Losing Trademark Appeal Other times these third parties will produce under the brand name they have pre-emptively registered with lesser quality designs, made cheaply, and sell that brand back into Europe, to compete with the designer's own brand, or, before the designer's own brand is on the market, the designer will also see the same brand already being sold on Taobao.com even the same styles, as well. In those cases, even if in the end, the designer wins a trademark battle against these "trolls", the damage to the brand has already been done in the consumers' eyes - the trademark troll knows this, and so they will purposefully make obviously poor quality goods to force the designer not to wait and try to win a battle, but rather, to pay money, and settle, to make the damage stop. This type of situation has even happened to many designers with whom we have signed contracts with or are in communication with. One of our existing partner designers, was surprised to discover that the his brand's name had been pre-emptively registered in China a very long time ago, and that the culprit had used even the very logos that the designer himself had created and attached to his EU registration filing (see below an excerpt from our email correspondence, with names blocked out for privacy): "Tue, Apr 28, 2020 at 10:52 AM To: Kate Chang <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com> Hi again Kate, After looking at this email again, I realized that the bottom two logos are made by me. These are photoshopped versions of our old logo, which was also attached to our old EU trademark (which has been now updated). Please advise how to proceed from here. Could you please check if these bottom two companies even exist? I have high doubts regarding the company that has been dealing with our trademark application in China, obviously." Another designer, an Italian designer based in Sicily, who we are in the process of communication with, also has a similar situation happen to him years ago, he wrote to me in a recent email: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 7:13 PM To: Kate Chang <email@example.com> Dear Kate... ...Another and the last one was with a company which was a mixed group of Chinese and Italian partners but after 2 season they drop us because meanwhile we found that our brand was copied by a chinese guy , who asked us a ransom but it was too expensive and to pursue him on court in a civil path was not a guaranteed success. That's why, 4 years ago we changed our brand name from XXXXXXX to XXXX , doing business with China with no trademark registered was a big mistake due to lack of experience." These truths already fully prove that YMYX's actions are absolutely correct, and absolutely necessary. If we make a big publicity push without our partner brands' trademarks protected by registration, then if the brand is pre-emptively registered by another party, in effect, our partner designer, the legal brand owner, would in fact become the copycat in our market, simply because they did not register their trademark first; this is a very scary consequence. Not only would this cause losses in terms of legal disputes and penalties to be paid to this other company, but moreover the brand would be tainted as a copycat brand and lose some of its luster in the eyes of its Chinese consumers, and the designer's own personal image would suffer irreparable harm, because even if he makes a new brand to enter China in the future, the designer's name has already been hurt, so no consumer would acknowledge this new brand. Of course, YMYX's investment would also be put at great risk. This is why we refrain from publicizing and starting too soon, before we can make sure each designer is protected, it would simply be suicide for their brands to start too early. The reality is that as YMYX, of course we hope to go to market as soon as possible, no one in our position would want to wait, because we must endure losses for each day that we do not start to sell - our employees, overhead, none of these expenses will generate profit for our business, until we can launch, but we have been patient in waiting for the registration process to be finished for all of our partner designers, because we hope that the path of the brands' development is one that we walk together stably and for a long, long time. While we wait for the designers trademarks to be registered, we also do not want to be pre-maturely public, because this is our business intelligence, and invite copycats to steal our business model and platform design, which is all too common in the competitive landscape of any market in the world. So this is why, we have not been public and we have maintained a thick secrecy, but in fact, we had originally slated to begin a trial operation from August of this year, that was ultimately scrapped due to the onslaught of COVID-19. As a result, all we can do during this global pandemic, is to wait. We also trust that in the not so distant future, the world will return to the normalcy of the past. Some have accused YMYX of being a scam without any evidence - but I would ask those people who say this, do you understand our contract? If you do understand the contents of our contract, then I trust that you would not call us a scam. So those who do make these kinds of comments should only claim so, after having fully understood the contents of our contract that we sign with our partner designers. In the contract that we sign with partner designers, it is clearly laid out that designers never have to pay YMYX any money, and the only cost the designers have is the cost of registration of their trademark, as discussed above, however, these fees are not paid to YMYX, but rather, to trademark registration law firms and agents that each designer seeks out and engages on their own. It is also mandated by contract that YMYX must pay the designers for every confirmed sale a 10% royalty rate from the retail revenue, and in the contract, it also requires that if YMYX violates this clause, or if we somehow harm the designer's intellectual property, then the contract can be invalidated, and moreover YMYX must pay the designer penalties into the millions of euros. For those who call us a scam, I ask you to use your brain and really think about it. If we violate the contract, and the contract becomes invalidated, the designer can fully stop providing YMYX with their designs. Under those circumstances, what YMYX could gain from this is just 1 collection of design sketches; yet afterwards, we would gain nothing at all. As a result, the designer's loss is really limited. If YMYX really were so stupid as to violate this contract, and harm the designer's interests, then YMYX would the one to lose big, and we would have no benefit to gain. Even though each of the partner designers we have confirmed are very talented, today even in Europe, they are not yet famous; their brands in the European market do not yet command strong value and recognition on their own, much less in the Chinese market; these several hundred brands in partnership with us, in China, no one knows them yet, and their brands have completely have no value. Let me ask, how can we scam them? Scamming is in order to gain value, without it, how could we possibly run a scam? As a result, when someone accuses YMYX of being a scam, let me ask again, how could we possibly scam anyone? Because the brands we partner with, as of today, do not have recognition nor value in the China market, we must invest in order to build up that value. And only when the brand has value, and recognition, could this "scam" have any meaning. Would there be any scammer in the world this stupid? In order to "scam", YMYX would have to first make these brands successful, and famous; anyone with a brain would know that once a brand is famous, and once a brand has value, YMYX would legally make their profit; would there still be a need to "scam" at that point? Because after the brand has succeeded, after paying 10% of sales royalties to the designer, we retain 90% of the sale. After we deduct production costs and operational costs, we have a lot of profit to speak of. If these brands earn profit for YMYX after our investment and our hard work to increase their value, would we still even have a need to "scam" them? Again, when the designer realizes that YMYX is lying, the designer can just withhold their designs, and in that case, what YMYX has is only a brand that doesn't have any market recognition, because at that time, the designer will no longer continue to provide designs to YMYX. The designer loses perhaps just 1 collection of their work, but what YMYX loses, is everything, because among all of these several hundred designers in partnership with us, as long as they discover that we have done something that violates the contract, then all of the other designers will stop working with us. At this point, It would all come crashing down overnight; let me ask you, would YMYX be so foolish? Would there be a scammer in this world, this stupid? There are even some posts who said that my education record was false; they couldn't find information about my educational record online, and that my investment career in venture capital was also false; well hereby, I will share my information. This can help those who are doubting my education and my work experience to understand whether their assessment is right or wrong:
Crunchbase: Catherine Chang On Crunchbase, anyone can easily verify my education and professional experience and background. It additionally links to many articles where I am quoted, and also my old LinkedIn account. I have not updated this profile since 2015, but on this profile, you will be able to see some of my colleagues, and their endorsements of my skills. Anyone could contact and ask my colleagues to verify my background and the industry that I've been involved in. Some posts online have also claimed that the fact that YMYX has several hundred designers in partnership is a lie, and they claim they have proof that not even 10 designers, in fact, are partnered with us, much less the hundreds that we have mentioned. I really do not know what "evidence" these people who purport to have it are referring to, but at least, not one person who has said this, has produced any evidence to back it up. I can very responsibly state, that at this moment that I write this post, we have already signed with several hundred designers, and in Italy alone, we have more than 100 very talented partner designers signed with us. As mentioned in this site before, most of our partner brands are still in the process of trademark registration, and prior to being officially approved, we do not reveal their names to ensure that their intellectual property is not compromised by trademark trolls who could pre-emptively register their brand, while they await approval. But here, I will give the names of more than 30 or so of our existing partner designers, because their trademarks have been officially approved, so we can share their names here - any one who does not believe the information that I provide, can contact these individuals and verify, if what I say here is true: ORONZO DE MATTEIS
SONIA ROJAS GUIJO
ISABELLA DE ACUTIS
DAVIDE AND GIUSEPPE CRISTOFARO
JUAN ANTONIO SANCHEZ GALOCHA
ZAHRA AND MANUELE FALUGIANI
JOANA GRANJA The rest of the several hundred designers are still having their trademarks processed, and have not yet all reached final approval; as a result, after they have been approved for their registration, we will continuously make public and preview them. In addition, some claim that they have evidence that we haven't done anything; yet those who claim this, have also never produced any evidence of this. In fact we have always been working hard on the preparatory work, and we are almost ready. But because of COVID-19's sudden outbreak in early 2020, from March the lockdowns across first China then Europe froze the globe, factories and suppliers stopped working, and we have of course, experienced delays. However, we haven't given up, we are still as much as possible, doing the best to make our preparation very sound. Even though I cannot reveal too much yet prior to launch, I will reveal a small portion of our preparatory work and situation, to prove that those claims that YMYX is a scam, are nothing more than lies. Because of the limitations of space, we share only a few images from some of our platform preparation.
Our concept starts from the YMYX map, the focal point of our fashion world that we will present to our consumers in China:
From here, consumers can literally "shop" the virtual locations of their favorite YMYX partner brands, and each shop, reflects the unique personality and style of the designer behind these creations. From here, consumers will navigate to each of the shops of the brands and their internal pages, where their shop layout and shop window, can be displayed, along with their products:
This is the extent of the preview that I can share at this stage, but our work continues. At the same time, in these next 2 months, based on the situation with COVID-19, we will start to have potential partner factories create samples based on our partner brands' designs. The point of this is to check their quality and whether or not they can have a smooth communication with our partner designers, and also whether they are able to deliver on time. We will be evaluating their suitability for our partner designers and if they fit the criteria, and are approved, then they can become a partner factory. In the future, these approved factories will be the designated production partners for the production orders on our designers' brands. These factory partners are working with some of the biggest names in the luxury sector in Europe, many are Italian or Portuguese, with 60 years of history, are run as a family business and many have longstanding partnerships with brands like Armani, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Gucci, and others. In the future, we will also share the names of the factories in partnership with us, and we will also show these first test samples, we will post a few on our site to preview them, so that everyone knows that YMYX is ready to begin, and our preparatory work and testing, has been very solid. Additionally, at the appropriate times in the future, we will also make public our offline preparations and show the windows and also the interior as well. In addition to the above, some people even said that I personally and YMYX have been directly collecting money from designers, some of it being trademark registration fees. This is completely malicious defamation. Neither myself, nor YMYX, have ever taken money from designers, not in the past, not today and not ever. We have never directly or indirectly taken trademark registration fees from any brand. If anyone can show evidence to the contrary, I will immediately shut down YMYX. The truth is that these several hundred designers collaborating with YMYX, have searched and located their own trademark registration agents or law firms, spread out all over Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, China, etc. I believe in total there are some dozens of law firms and agencies overall, and amongst all of these, not a single one was found and introduced to our partner designers through YMYX or myself, but rather, designers have sometimes shared information and introduced law firms they found on their own, to other partner designers. We not only have never directly introduced a single agency or law firm for trademark registration to our partner designers, but in fact, once designers have problems with their own agency that causes their registrations to fail and ask me for help with, I will, only after receiving their written permission, represent our designer and argue with these lawyers or agents on their behalf. As one example: An Italian designer who we are collaborating with, Ms. Valentina Violante, found a law firm in Hong Kong on her own. When she told me that her trademark application had been rejected and asked if I could help her, upon receiving Valentina's written authorisation to do so, I contacted this Hong Kong agency she had found, and I asked this law firm to refund the money for the service fee they had charged Valentina for the trademark application. The rationale for the request was that this firm was also partially responsible for the failure of the registration application, and Valentina should not have to take the responsibility on her own.
So I requested that aside from the governmental processing fees for the application, that the service fee they charged Valentina for filing the application be refunded to her, for the portions of the applications that were not successful. In total, Valentina had paid approximately 2500 Euros to this law firm to register her trademark for classes 25 and 35 in 4 regions, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. This Hong Kong law firm very clearly informed me that they could not do this, that it was not their policy to offer refunds for rejected trademarks, because they spent time and energy and work to make the application, and moreover, at the time of the application, when Valentina contacted them to make registration, both parties had agreed that this fee would not be refunded if the trademark registration had failed. And in fact, they told me that on this planet, not a single person would be able to guarantee the success of a trademark registration application. They stressed that even if the registration wasn't a success, their firm had already put forth the work towards the application process that typically requires a fee to cover their cost, including employee salaries, office fees, etc. so they would be losing money and could not make any refund. However, after I communicated with them many times, and especially after they further understood more about myself and our company, YMYX, they decided to break their policy and create a special exemption for us, finally promising to have the service fee refunded to Valentina for the relevant portion of the refused application.
And afterwards, Valentina did in fact receive this refund, as she forwarded me the communication between her and the agency: "---- On Mon, 25 May 2020 17:12:10 +0800 Valentina di XXXXXXXXXX <valentina@XXXXXXXXXXX.com> wrote ---- Dear Wan Chang, I’ve already received the refund. Thank you very much. Your care and flexibility to our group means a lot to us. Speaking of which I have just a quick question. Now that you met Kate and know about our project, do you think that could I have more chances to have XXXXXXXXXXX approval if I try to re-apply it now? Do you think that the trademark office can be more flexible with my brand if they will know about Kate’s project as you do? Best, Valentina" This is just one example of what happened with Valentina but this is also not the only case. There are many other cases similar to this, where I was able to fight for and receive service fee refunds for our designers, or waive the firm or agency's service fee for a second try registration application. For YMYX, I am very proud of this achievement to be able to secure these terms for our partner designers. At the same time, to have this Hong Kong law firm agree to break their own policies and agree to refund money to our partner designers on a rejected trademark application is also enough to evidence my own credibility and reputation in the Asia Pacific region. So once more, any accusation that we have collected money from our partner designers for registration of the trademark, whether directly or indirectly, is malicious defamation. Some people posting online even have this strange fantasy, that accuses YMYX of wanting to simply sign up with designers and then sit there, not do anything, and profit from selling off these brand rights. This kind of defamation is really absurd. If it were so easy for YMYX to just sell off a brand that is unknown in Europe, let alone in China, and profit from it like that, the designers we work with would never have to sign up with us in the first place; they could simply sell their brands on their own. If it is so easy to make money, why would they come to us? Just like I said above, even though our partner designers are very talented, at the end of the day, the fact is that they are not famous at this moment, they do not have brand recognition and they haven't yet built value in the market. We could not possibly sell the brand; even if we wanted to sell these brands, no one would want them. In other words, it would be impossible to sell. I trust that in this world, there are no buyers who would pay money to take on an unknown brand. The reason is because a brand's value is in its level of recognition and influence; without it, the brand hasn't any market value to speak of. A brand that doesn't have value - who could it be sold to? However, if today, we were talking about Louis Vuitton, that would be another story. With just the brand name alone, not even including all of its shops, you could sell to a buyer for a sky high number, because as long as the owner has "Louis Vuitton" trademark, there is value - you don't need to have stores, because someone will easily finance you, to open those stores; and you don't even have to have existing designs, because you can hire someone, to design for you. Because under this brand, all of the people can gain profit, can survive, and develop themselves. A designer who works for Louis Vuitton after they leave to go to create their own company and brand, will no longer necessarily thrive; how many can really achieve success on their own? Among those designers who are partnered with us, many have indeed left roles at Chanel, at Dior, Armani; now they are preparing to launch their brands, however, to achieve success, there is still a long, long path to walk, and it may not even lead to success in the end. If we put the Louis Vuitton label on the garments they design, it could sell for a lot of money; but without this tag, they can't sell for a high price and maybe cannot even sell at all. This is a really simple logic. No designer that we have partnered with, has such a high recognition for their brand; if they did they wouldn't work with YMYX now. Under these circumstances then, I want to ask, how can YMYX actually sell these brands? Moreover, if there really were buyers wanting to buy, how much would the brands sell for? Without the designer, this brand is not worth a single cent. If the buyer has their own designers, they also wouldn't need to buy another unknown brand, they would simply just create their own brand to promote, why would they want to buy a brand that isn't famous? What these people have said either shows that they haven't developed their maturity and comprehension levels enough, they are far too dense, or, that they understand this logic, but they have made these comments on purpose. Moreover, if the designer feels they were harmed in some way, they could just stop giving designs to the new buyer, because YMYX would have already broken the contract. So the designer's harm, in the end, is limited to losing one season's collection. I really do not wish to make my defense toward people who are this stupid; to be frank, when I start to explain on this point, I feel that I am speaking to idiots. If they are not idiots then at least, they are purposefully playing dumb. When it devolves to this, then no matter what I say, they won't stop their defamation. So the only way is to use the law, to stop their defamatory actions in their tracks. The only time YMYX could actually sell these brands, would have to be when we have first succeeded in making these brands really successful. We invest money, our human capital, produce, work on production, and when the brand gains recognition, and influence, and really start to have value to show for, then that is when YMYX would have even the possibility to sell this brand, because at that time, there would be willing buyers. But what I want to ask is, if this brand really succeeded because of our efforts, then as YMYX, why would we sell it? A successful brand in our group of partner brands is like a goose who lays golden eggs for YMYX. After all that hard work and effort, finally produces a goose who lays golden eggs, why on earth, and who would be silly enough to let that goose go? If we sold it, then we would never get those golden eggs again. Some posts have also pointed to the fact that we allow sub-licenses in the contract, as a reason for alarm and suspicion. Yet those who make this assertion, completely lack an understanding of business, and moreover don't understand China and the Far East market, and how it really works there. China is vast and enormous, with 1.3 billion people. In such a big market, there is no way that one company can rope in all of the consumers in this country and serve them all efficiently, because not one single company, in China, has that capability to do that with their own strength. The reason is because in this huge market of 1.3 billion people, the difference and nuance between each of the provinces, counties and cities in China is far too great. Sometimes even between villages, dialects fluctuate to the point of incomprehension between the two, they cannot understand each other. That is why there is a unifying official language called "Putonghua", which is a common tongue; but in fact, regional habits and dialect differences run deep. For instance, people in Shanghai cannot understand those in Guangdong, and those in Guangxi cannot understand those in Shaanxi. The daily habits are all very different. Westerners often think that there is just "Chinese food" for instance, but in China, there are all kinds of cuisines, from Shanghainese to Cantonese, Sichuan, the list could go on for a long time. 99% of Chinese people themselves, have never eaten all the "real" Chinese cuisine there is, in other words, in China having eaten all the different kinds of Chinese foods there are across all the distinct regions and areas, is nearly impossible. Many of you here I am sure, have eaten Chinese food but you have just eaten one kind of Chinese food. There are several tens of thousands of varieties that you have never seen before, let alone having actually tasted them. It's not just Westerners, Chinese people likewise, have not all tasted "real Chinese cuisine", because it's impossible to cover all of the tens of thousands of delicacies that vary by region. What I mean to say, is that under these circumstances, a lot of companies in China, what they actually do in terms of concrete operational strategy is to assign the rights of a brand to local operators who have strong experience and reputation in their region, they are leaders in their area or region, and these companies, let these local partners who have history, good reputation, face those consumers in their region that they know well. It would be much more efficient than a company going on their own, to build up that consumer environment because these local operators are more familiar with the local customs, they know best how to spur consumers to buy, and recognize the brands, and the consumers in their region will also more likely accept their presentation of these brands and believe them more easily. Of course, if today you are Louis Vuitton, you may not need to do this; if you are Dior you may not need to do this, since you are known all over the world. But for an unknown designer, you would not have this luxury. So to find local operators with capability, is a very common way to operate in China. Under our contract, designers will not lose their 10% royalty from sales completed, rather, YMYX will share in profit with these local companies from our side. A lot of times, working with these capable companies in local regions will cause the brand to be accepted locally much faster, and recognition by consumers in that region will build quickly, driving up sales. This is a very normal way of cooperating and doing business in China, it's like a franchising concept; if one company does not have the local knowledge or strength in a certain area, they would ask those who do, to join in, and help them grow. In China, this is not only normal, it's smart. But when you don't understand China, then you would feel that it would be unimaginable or wrong.
This is just like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), the American fast-food chain. Even a company this famous, in China, will use local cooperators, and they've assigned the license to these local cooperators who then will make decisions based on what works in their region. For instance, some KFC outlets will sell egg tarts in addition to fried chicken; and others, will sell congee (a type of porridge) and fried dough sticks, because that's the traditional breakfast menu in that region. McDonald's had a similar approach, for a long time only owning about 65% of its own outlets in China, with the rest being franchised or assigned, and Starbucks for a long time relied on Uni-President, a Taiwanese company to run its entire Taiwan operations and the bulk of its operations in East China, including in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, accounting for more than 1,300 stores, before it purchased the rights back in 2017.
There are many, many examples of big brands that have localized with the help of local operators to win more consumers in China, there are too many to count, so I won't take time to list them all out here. This is why we have this right in our agreement to use sublicensees, however, we would only do this with very reputable organizations who can make the brand more successful in that specific local region; and they would still have to follow the contract, and the 10% royalties in earnings on the part of the designer, would still remain. So under any circumstances, we cannot circumvent or go against the terms of our contract nor do anything that would hurt the designer. Again, if we did so, the designer could simply stop sending us designs, and the contract would become invalidated. If we didn't have the right to sublicense, and we slowly built up in the market, would this actually be a good thing for the brand? Only by working with strong partners, who could open access to big and important local department stores, and locally popular web platforms, and share in profit with these local operators, and mutually push each brand with the fastest speed, in the entire region to increase its influence, could we succeed in really creating influence for the brand that expands the entire country and territory. This is the smart way to work. It would not be smart to have contract in hand, and then using our own strength, alone, go city by city, one at a time, to set things up. If YMYX really went city by city, then for those designers who work with us, this is tragic; because by the time we go city by city to build up the brand in China and see some results, that would be decades later. My business experience tells me that to work with strong people who know what they are doing in their region or field, that is when you will succeed. It is not smart to swallow up all the profit, and have a winner takes all approach, because you won't win. I do not know why those who are making these posts do so because they do not understand YMYX, or if it is out of genuine curiosity, but some of it is clearly intentional, with the goal to maliciously defame; some even use anonymous posts, to express very irresponsible views. In one platform, one person who only referred to themselves as "Louise Greenwood", posted defamatory comments, and when we posted our rebuttal to her, she suddenly disappeared. Another person, his name is Marco Trabassi, and on Quora.com he openly claimed that he has evidence to prove that YMYX has taken money from designers, for their trademark registration. After discovering his defamatory comments, we checked in our database, and we did not discover any records of having contacted him previously. So we found it really strange, and we don't even have any connection to him, why does he want to defame us? Moreover, what's strange is that he is not a designer, he appears to be a visual merchandiser. Shortly after, we understood from some partner designers that this Marco Trabassi may be connected to another newer project that was also launching emerging design talents; I am not willing to bring up the name of this project, if you have interest you can Google it online; this is just the guess of our designer, and we cannot know or verify, that this is the real reason for his defamatory outbursts. Perhaps he felt that we were their competition. But if this really is the reason, it makes no sense, because actually we wouldn't be a competitor for him, since this other new project is focused on the European market, and we are only focused on China and the Far East market. After discovering this, a lot of designers asked me to make a defense, so I have had back and forth exchanges with him; anyone with interest to understand the full scope of this can go look at the original post for concrete details, as I won’t repeat it here. I repeatedly requested him to post this evidence he claims to have, that I collected money from designers, and make it public, and I pledged that if there was any evidence that I had received any money from any designers, or had done any of the fraudulent actions that he claimed, as long as he could prove it, I would close YMYX and pay him penalties.
Moreover, he further claims that before any discussion, or review of contract, or any explanations, my first request was to collect money from designers, and that I insisted that any registration of the trademark had to go through our registration agents or law firms - I state here, that as long as he can provide evidence that I did so, whether directly or indirectly, I will shut down YMYX and publicly apologize to Marco, and pay penalties.
If he can provide evidence - then he would achieve his goal of killing off YMYX with one smoking gun. Yet if he cannot produce this evidence, but just continually claims “I have evidence, I have evidence”, but never shows it, after I have repeatedly and openly requested him to show it, time and again, then this amounts to criminal defamation, and we will immediately enter criminal proceedings against him.
At present, our legal team is already preparing a criminal complaint to be placed before the Public Prosecutor; therefore, we will no longer make any responses to any comment he puts forth, and if there is a reply, it will be done so via our legal representatives.
But not only toward Marco, I hereby state that as long as anyone - no matter if they are a designer we have communicated with previously or are communicating with now, a factory, or an observer, if anyone at all can prove that before any discussion, or review of contract, or any explanations, my first request was to collect money from designers, and that I insisted that any registration of the trademark had to go through our registration agents or law firms - or that I have collected money from any designer, again whether directly or indirectly, for the purpose of registering trademarks, or for any reason whatsoever YMYX has ever collected even a single from any individual, designer or otherwise. As long as anyone can provide this proof, whether it’s an email, a recording, or other evidence, then my promise remains the same - I will shut down YMYX, publicly apologize and pay out penalties. This promise, is forever valid.
Even though, I do not want to take time to make a legal fight with this kind of person because I am very, very busy, it's not worth my time to take legal actions with someone like this, after seeing his posts I can see the level of character, however, I am forced to do so because if we do not take these actions, then we would have no way of really protecting the company's interests, nor our partner designers' interests, and no way to stop those who would maliciously defame and attack us, no matter if it's driven by jealousy and envy or they are potential competitors of YMYX. After I have made a defense of YMYX on these sites, some people have commented that I should not be making responses to these posts and that a good CEO would instead focus on the work instead. But if someone defames YMYX and says it's a scam, and says that they have evidence to prove it, and yet I say nothing, and sit there silent, and allow myself and the company to be defamed, then it would render those defamatory words true, by manner of tacit agreement. How then would our team, our partner designers, and factories feel? Even if I have the generosity to swallow it, my environment and surroundings, don't allow me to do so. Moreover, I believe that any CEO who does that, would be a very bad one. Some people say that we are lying to "young designers". In fact, as one can see, the "young designers" are only a small portion of those designers we have signed with, so I do not know how people could without any basis of fact, make these mistaken arguments. Finally, what I want to say is, anyone can have their questions about anything in this world, when it comes to our project, no matter if it is because we have kept confidential for a long time and we have not gone public yet, or if it is because of other reasons, if anyone has doubts, or worries, we fully understand. You can dislike this project, dislike YMYX's business style, dislike me, Kate. You can even dislike the idea of introducing and developing your brand in the Chinese market. I would have absolutely no opinion in response to this, but we are against making up facts, and making defamatory attacks with ulterior motives. I sincerely hope that everyone who has questions, you can either leave that question in your heart, choose not to work with us, or, come directly to us, and tell us your doubts and communicate with us. I hope that everyone, no matter if you believe in us or not, you are interested or not interested, I hope that you can speak with reason and civility, and express opinions based on truth and actual facts. No business person seeks to make enemies.
If we see eye to eye, then we can work together. If we do not, then we should wish each other well - I would wish you well, and you would wish YMYX well, and we part ways. In the future, we will more proactively make public some circumstances, no matter if it is from the side of our preparatory work, or the legal side and updates on these situations, we will reveal more information, and I believe that by doing this, it will help everyone's understanding of YMYX to deepen, and I also believe that in the not so distant future when we launch our project in our market, at that time, all of the questions will dissipate.
At the same time we definitely believe that our project will succeed, even though we cannot promise that each one of our partner designers absolutely will very easily be successful, but as long as they don't give up, and they put forth their passion and capability, we fully have the ability and the patience required to work with them, continuously adjust and improve to ultimately capture the recognition and acknowledge of the consumers. Those who have been to China before, know that Chinese consumers have a really unbelievable appreciation and worship of fashion that hails from Europe; this market in the East is where the wide open fields and fertile land of our hope and success lay in wait.
Thank you everyone.