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Bronx and Reflexe clash in Italy

Footwear brand Bronx and Italian sample manufacturer Reflexe clashed last week at Italian footwear fair Expo Riva Schuh in Garda, resulting in the seizure of Bronx's sample range.

The conflict was sparked by Bronx ending its relationship with Reflexe. But according to sources, Reflexe claimed the brand owed EUR10 million (£6.7m) in sample costs.

Reflexe representatives and Italian police stormed the Bronx stand, confiscating 1,200 samples. The brand was left with an empty stand at the four-day show and faces disruption to its global sample distribution.

Bronx managing director Edward Barnes denied the brand owed money, instead saying it was Reflexe that owed Bronx. The two businesses will face each other in an Italian court next month.

Frits Dijkmans, who owns Bronx, said in a statement to suppliers that the businesses had parted ways after nine years, following problems with materials, sampling and manufacturing. "Because of the termination of our relationship, Reflexe feels entitled to compensation that exceeds acceptable amounts and plays no part in our budget," he said. "Having no samples in Garda is only a slight inconvenience. Sales and collection presentations will go ahead as planned."

Netherlands-based Bronx has called in the other halves of its sample pairs from distributors and agents, and has transferred sample production to other Italian parties and bases in Brazil, Portugal, China and India.

Reflexe managing director Gianni Scoponi could not be contacted as Drapers went to press.

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