The King of England’s new longtime favorite tailor is facing a legal type lawsuit filed by the real-life model to the New York street-smart lawyer in Tom Wolfe’s novel. Bonfire of the Vanities.
In a civil suit filed September 20 in Manhattan Supreme Court, Ed Hayes said that as a minority owner of Anderson & Sheppard in London, he suspected the company was not collecting sales tax. stores in New York and elsewhere in the United States. Hayes further increases the possibility that the company is hiding profits.
“The need for an accountant is a matter of urgency,” the lawsuit says.
And Hayes believes it’s his fault.
“I own 16%,” Hayes told The Daily Beast. “It’s not like I’m nothing.”
A prominent New York attorney who represented Anderson & Sheppard accused Hayes of pulling a reverse Wolfe pattern. The lawyer, Larry Hutcher, accused Hayes of trying to turn fiction into real life.
“Ed Hayes, who was obviously familiar with the novel, decided that he wanted to write a believable story of his own,” Hutcher told The Daily Beast. “There isn’t any contention to any of the allegations he’s made.”
But no one disputes that Anderson & Sheppard makes clothes that are now quite fitting for a king.
As attested by the Royal Coat of Arms and the words “By Appointment to HRH, Prince of Wales” on the store’s glass windows, Anderson & Sheppard has long been Charles’ suitor of choice. He is said to have been introduced to it by Princess Diana in 1983. He was given a vest when worn off-site at a royal residence — Clarence House or Highgrove House — and never actually visited the facility. office until 2013, when he went to see a group of apprentices.
Other clients include Winston Churchill, Fred Astair, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper, Noel Coward and Marlene Deitrich. There’s also Hayes, who bought his first two suits there in 1978, after the girlfriend of a New York City parasite named Pistol Pete Spriggs gave him a paper bag. which he calls “rogue jewelry”.
US sheriffs arrested Spriggs in possession of a submachine gun and three kilograms of cocaine after they stormed into his apartment in search of an escapee from the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Officers say that Sprigg’s super in the building directed them to the apartment after they showed him a photo of the escapee. But Hayes determined that Superman didn’t speak English and couldn’t recognize anyone from a photo because he was blind. A judge brought up the case. And Spriggs showed his gratitude to Hayes by sending him a sack of rings that resembled the giant hands of a cane man.
Hayes later said: “I could have worn them on my big toe.
The large rings mean what is known on the street as “lots of gold”. Hayes sold it all at a store on W. 47th Street and went straight to a payphone to make a transatlantic call to Anderson & Sheppard.
Hayes recalls: “I said, ‘I’m going to come here.
Five years before the future king of England joined Anderson & Sheppard’s long list of celebrity customers, Hayes arrived at the store with hundreds of dollars in bills tucked into his left tube sock. He bought two bespoke suits that made him look like a gentleman possibly favored by the Queen rather than a Queens-born hustler.
“Then I opened my mouth,” Hayes recalls.
Back in New York, the combination of New York City talking suits and Hayes’ custom outfits made him all the more appealing to writer Tom Wolfe. Anyone who knows Hayes immediately recognizes him as the template for Tom Killian’s The Bonfire of the Vanities. Wolfe dedicated the book to “Advisor Eddie Hayes.”
Meanwhile, Hayes continued to turn payments from cash-strapped customers into $5,000 Anderson & Sheppard masterpieces. A shared passion for artistic splendor led to a friendship with Norman Halsey, a former British paratrooper who served as Anderson & Sheppard’s chief salesman and later its chief executive. , with 16% ownership of the company.
A controlling stake in Anderson & Sheppard was acquired by a mining company called Roland “Tiny” Rowland in the 1970s. Rowland’s business style was once described by former British Prime Minister Edward Heath as “the set unpleasant and unacceptable side of capitalism”. At one point, he also tried to take over the Harrods department store, but was defeated by Mohamed Al-Fayed, whose son Dodi was believed to have been romantically involved with Princess Diana at the time of her death.
“Halsey disagrees with Rowland,” Hayes’ suit said.
After Tiny Rowland’s death in 1998 at the age of 80, his daughter Adna Rowland took the helm of Anderson & Sheppard.
“Multiple Sclerosis. Rowland eliminated the dividend to Halsey,” Hayes’ lawsuit disputes.
When Halsey retired, he sold his interest in the company to his soul brother, Hayes.
“After that, I didn’t receive any dividends even though I owned the stock,” Hayes’ lawsuit says. “The business has been extremely profitable when run by Halsey, but under Ms Rowland it appears to be unprofitable, even though its directors are being well-remunerated.”
Hayes requested and received an annual report for the period ending January 31, 2021. He read that the company suffered a loss of £924,061 (just over $1 million), up from a loss of 27,918 GBP in the previous year. The report attributes this to the pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions.
Hayes notes that the directors — seven of whom have served all year — received a total of £353,976, or £353,976 more than he received in dividends. Hayes saw a mention of sales tax, but no specific number. He recounted that he himself was never asked to pay them. And he knew the company had long organized biennial sales trips to New York, where it operated out of the Carlyle Hotel.
“Based on information and belief and based on my assessment of defendant’s annual report, respondent does not pay any sales tax in NY or any other tax anywhere in the country. America,” Hayes’ lawsuit says. “I am concerned that sooner or later Ms. Rowland’s activities and omissions will be discovered and subject to fines and penalties for default. This will greatly affect the value of my stock ownership.”
The lawsuit argues that “an accountant is necessary to determine true and complete financial information.” It went on to argue that “Defendant failed to exercise and/or refused to provide such accounting to conceal Respondent’s misconduct in denying Plaintiff’s rights.”
“He is creating it as he continues.“
– Attorney Larry Hutcher
The company’s attorney, Hutcher, says there’s no sales tax in New York to pay because there’s no sales there.
“Our client doesn’t do business in New York, has no connection to New York,” he told The Daily Beast.
Hutcher was asked about the biennial trunk shows the company has long held not only in New York, but also in other American cities.
“They could come here and take some orders, but they haven’t done that in years,” he said. “And even then all the orders were taken, completed in London.”
He was then asked about upcoming trunk programs currently listed on the company’s website.
“Yes, but the company is located in London,” said Hutcher. “It does not transact significant business in the US. It’s out of scope here. “
For his part, Hayes noted that upcoming trunk shows include a show at the Carlyle Hotel in New York from October 31 to November 4. There’s also a show scheduled. from October 24 to 25 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco and another from October 27 to November 28 at the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago.
A November 2014 post on the company’s website reports on the change over the past two weeks in the US.
“In the past two weeks, we’ve seen just over 180 customers, the most we’ve seen since we started our trips. In New York, we see 27-29 clients per day; from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. so we had a lot of jam-packed days; but they couldn’t get any better… We have such a good customer base in the US and we have between 255-260 accessories,” the post said.
This case can shed some light on what constitutes a sale and where it is taxable. But Hutcher said the company will move to eliminate the case before it reaches such a level.
“We will dismiss the complaint and we believe it will be dismissed,” Hutcher said. “And if he wants to come to London to make a claim, God bless him.”
Hutcher added, “If he wants to confirm his claims, he needs to do it in the UK, where a claim would be in place. It is an English company governed by English law. We don’t even know how he got his shares, whether he actually owns them, but whatever he has, he can try to claim them in the UK. . “
Hutcher also argues that Hayes’ accusations of overpaying directors have no merit, no matter the location.
“There’s nothing like it,” Hutcher said. “He’s creating it as he moves on.”
Hayes said he’s determined to push his case forward. He will also continue to wear the custom Anderson & Sheppard suits as the new king of England is likely to wear.
“I have bigger shoulders,” says Hayes. “He has the role of the queen. My role is from New York City Queens. “