Kevin Wills has a controversial business model that's made him a villain to bargain-seekers everywhere. Now he's starting a beef with the stores themselves.
Two years ago, he and his then-wife stirred up a righteous shitstorm by snatching up thousands of dollars' worth of limited-edition designer merch from a Miami Target before anyone else could get their hands on it. Now Wills is sure to stir even more ire. This time, he's suing Target, alleging the store aided a mob of outraged shoppers in physically attacking him while he was trying to escape with the pile of clothes.
"Not fun, to say the least," Wills said of the bargain-seekers brouhaha before declining to comment further.
That's certainly an assessment that Wills' fellow customers had back on February 4, 2012. That day, the Target store in midtown Miami planned to debut a small number of competitively priced clothes designed by the internationally famed Jason Wu collection.
Wills called ahead to check whether there was a limit to how much of the designer clothing he could buy on the cheap. The next day, the Rhode Island native and his wife, Clara Borges Deoliveria, were first in line.
The couple knew what they were doing. In 2011, they had mobbed Target when a similar bargain-basement promotion on Missoni clothes came out. When that line was released, the Target website crashed, and hundreds of shoppers lined up to snag a shirt or two. The pair was able to nab a huge pile of clothes.
This time, the plan didn't work out so well. In a scenario that played out like a mix between Black Friday and Supermarket Sweep, Wills, who also goes by "DJ Midas" and spins at the Delano, snatched up $5,300 of Jason Wu merch in less than a minute.
A slighted crowd of angry shoppers encircled and taunted him. The media fallout was no less critical: Wills and Deoliveria were branded as "fashion vultures" online and deemed a "terrible couple" by Riptide.
Then, two weeks after it all went down, Wu announced he had been planning to give the clothes to charity all along. When his planned venue to auction off the clothes learned of the controversy, it pulled the plug.
Now Wills wants payback for the fiasco. One customer allegedly slammed him in the legs with her cart as her similarly aggrieved husband said he was going to "kick his ass."
The Miami DJ is suing for emotional distress as well as negligence and false imprisonment, apparently because he felt trapped by the angry fashionistas who sought both designer clothing at big-box prices as well as trouble.
"Rather than securing our client's safety, among other things, Target acted in furtherance of our client's injuries," says Daniel Zampano, Wills' lawyer. (Deoliveria, who has since divorced Wills, isn't part of the suit.)
The attorney also notes that Target discontinued its no-limit purchase policy immediately after the incident, which to him is proof that it was an unsafe idea.
The complaint also alleges that Target made "hundred of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in advertising" when media outlets from the Hollywood Reporter to the Huffington Post slammed Wills.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Target's lawyers said they cannot comment on pending litigation.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti