Christopher Laurita owns Signature Apparel Group with his brother who has been estranged from Caroline and Dina for a decade. Jacqueline straddles the fence between Caroline and Dina, but Chris must be in the middle between those sisters and his brother.
Chris’s nephew (the son of the brother he is in partnership with) died suddenly last fall, which would have been after the taping of Season Two of RHONJ. Tragically he was only 25 and he also worked for Signature. Read Frankie Laurita’s obit:
LAURITA… Frankie Laurita, born December 5, 1982, of Manhattan and formerly of Westport, passed away suddenly on October 5, 2008. He is survived by his adoring parents, Joseph and Adele Laurita of Westport; brother, Joey Laurita of Santa Monica, CA; and sister, Michele Laurita of Stamford. Frankie is also survived by his loving grandparents, Frank and Dell Petrone of Westport; uncles, Nick Petrone of CT, Jaime Laurita of IL, Chris Laurita of NJ, Anthony Laurita of NJ; and aunt, Ann Ricks of PA. Friends may pay their respects on Wednesday, October 8, 2008 from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Shaughnessy-Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Rd. in Fairfield. Entombment services will take place on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. directly at Oaklawn Cemetery Mausoleum, 1530 Bronson Rd. in Fairfield. Memorial donations may be directed to: St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, or http://www.stjude.org. To send an online condolence, please visit us at www. shaughnesseyfuneralhome. com. Frankie brought joy and laughter to all who knew him and his smile will be forever remembered.
NOTE: Half the family (including Caroline and Dina and possibly their parents and a few other sibs) were left out of the memorial. Chris and Jacqueline’s newborn son’s middle name is in memory of their nephew.
NOTE: It’s terrible when a family falls apart like that, and it happens far too often, but Caroline’s bemoaning the fact that Jacqueline would cause their parents’ to suffer because she sided with a “friend” on the first season (Danielle) is pretty incredible, considering just how dysfunctional the Laurita family really is. Chris stood up to side with his wife against his bullying sisters.
But his company Signature Apparel Group, LLC — which included troubled brands like JayZ’s “Rocawear” and Eve’s “Fetish” — had “an involuntary petition for liquidation under Chapter 7 filed against [it] in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.” Translation: Chris’s outfit was unable to pay its loans, and creditors forced the bankruptcy filing. Essentially, such a filing means that the a trustee is appointed to the business in order to sell off its assets and pay its debts. Later that month, rapper/actress Eve announced that her Fetish line was closing due to “legal reasons.” She’s probably referring to this. Even worse, Signature Apparel Group has since refiled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2009.
Chris — who has been with Jacqueline for over 14 years — has personal money issues that go back as far as 1988, when the United Jersey bank successfully won a judgment against him for over $18,000. Meanwhile American Express successfully won a judgment against him for almost $3000 in 1990.
August 5, 2010: Signature Apparel Group, LLC went out of business. Signature Apparel Group, LLC designs, develops, manufactures, and distributes branded apparel in the United States and internationally. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in New York, New York. 1370 Broadway 6th floor, New York, NY 10018 212-768-8889
From Women’s Wear Daily… 9-8-09: Three creditors of Signature Apparel Group last week sought to force the Rocawear licensee into bankruptcy. The petitioning creditors, representing about $14.9 million in debt past due…
Snapshot of Signature Apparel Group here.