Michael Lo Sordo Surrenders For Unpaid Debts

Michael Lo Sordo is a Sydney based fashion designer with a lot of success who has received countless scrutiny for not paying his creditors. After failing to attend a court date, he was given an arrest warrant. On July 18 he surrendered himself under warrant to Burwood Local Court.

Lo Sordo
Image by Daily Telegraph

Lo Sordo was once celebrated for his success. He was named 2006 young designer of the year at Sydney’s Propeller Fashion Show. In 2012 he won the fashion category for the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards. His designs have been worn by Megan Gale, Jessica Gomes, Lara Bingle, and Julia Guillard. Many fashion magazines have featured his designs. Two weeks ago he had a “trunk show” at a Sydney boutique where he made a personal appearance.

Fashion Photographer, Steven Popovich has been vocal about Lo Sordo’s poor professionalism when it came to paying for work done.

Lo Sordo
Image by smh In Designs by Michael Lo Sordo

“Yes, he is a nice guy and a talented fashion designer, but you can’t treat people like that. It is a bad reflection on them if they want to turn a blind eye to what he is doing. Yeah it was only $1400 but I have a kid, I have family and I need to pay the bills” said Steven Popovich

Popovich shot Lo Sordo’s 2015 resort wear collection but has never been paid.

“I gave Michael low-res images and very clearly stipulated, you cannot use any of these images until you have paid the bill. After not being paid, I ran into him before he went to Paris and he said: ‘I’ll pay it tonight’. A week later he is in Paris and I have never seen the money” said Steven Popovich.

In February 2015 Lo Sordo was taken to court for not paying for work and was forced to pay thousands of dollars. In a separate case, but the same month he was ordered to pay Bright Trading Pty Ltd $4869 for work done. Prior to this a contractor claimed she was owed $14,000 for producing a range of silk trench coats.

Lo Sordo
Image by zimbio.com

However, Lo Sordo disputes this debt claiming “the standard and quality of production, in this instance, was not met so the invoice is in dispute.”

In March 2016, Chic Management won a suit against Lo Sordo after he failed to pay the agency for models provided at the 2014 Fashion Week Parade.
Dennis Gouskos, was owed thousands of dollars from Lo Sordo for some cutting he did in 2014, but did not consider it worth it to chase it up.

“In my 30-plus years in the fashion industry I have never met anyone like him,” said Dennis Gouskos.

He said that the face that Lo Sordo still has the backing of the Australian Fashion Chamber is not right.

“It is a slap in the face to all us little plebs, that is what irritates me about the Australian fashion industry backing him” said Dennis Gouskos.

Lo Sordo
Image by Styleetcetera

For a long time the fashion industry turned a blind eye to the way Lo Sordo was treating his creditors and not paying his debts. He was a guest speaker at an event for Elle Magazine in April 2016 where Lo Sordo was interviewed about his ideas and aesthetics and nothing was mentioned of his failure to honour payments. Although he did admit to not being adept at the business side of things.

“ … that’s the interesting thing with the label and how we have experienced growth, it is more business and this and that which is totally what I am not interested in or good at, at all,” said Lo Sordo.

The court date that Lo Sordo failed to show up for was an examination order. It was to allow the court to examine debts owed to Lo Sordo to see if he had enough property to cover a claim which he has previously settled out of court but not paid. This was in September 2015. The examination order stated that failure to appear at court would result in arrest.
It is not right that Lo Sordo should use the services for so many in the fashion industry and not pay them, photographers, models, cutters and producers. These people should not have to file a court case just to get paid for what they are rightfully owed. The fashion industry has continued to support and allow Lo Sordo’s clothes to be advertised and sold despite all of the negative media he has received regarding his debtors. Although some supporters have retracted, such as David Jones who no longer stock his line.