Target distances itself from Mossimo label amid college admissions scandal

Retail giant Target distanced itself Thursday from Mossimo Giannulli, who designed the “Mossimo” clothing line that ran in its stores for years, after he and his wife, actress Lori Loughlin, were linked to a college admissions cheating scandal involving dozens of wealthy parents.

Giannulli’s eponymous budget menswear line was a fixture at Target stores from 2000 until the retailer phased out the brand in 2017 amid declining consumer interest. Mossimo’s licensing deal with Target was renewed several times over the years, but the retailer said it no longer has any association with the fashion designer.

“We haven’t had a working relationship with Mossimo Giannulli in over a decade and we no longer carry any Mossimo branded products at Target,” the company said in a statement.

Federal authorities allege that Giannulli, Loughlin and other wealthy individuals paid a combined $25 million to bribe college coaches and administrators to doctor test results and falsify athletic records for their children. The scammers allegedly aimed to boost their kids’ chances of gaining admission to prestigious colleges, including Yale and Wake Forest.

Giannulli and Loughlin are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to have their daughters listed as potential recruits for the University of Southern California’s crew team, even though neither played the sport. The couple faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Giannulli and Loughlin were taken into custody and later released on Wednesday, each posting a $1 million bond.

“I wanted to thank you again for your great work with [our older daughter], she is very excited and both Lori and I are very appreciative of your efforts and end result!” Giannulli said in an email to an implicated official who cooperated with federal authorities.

Giannulli founded the Mossimo brand with $100,000 borrowed from his father, according to the Hollywood Reporter. After landing a licensing deal with Target worth tens of millions of dollars in 2000, Giannulli sold his interest in the Mossimo line to Iconix Brand Group.

Iconix did not respond to multiple requests for comment.


USC has yet to announce if Giannulli’s daughter, YouTube star Olivia Jade, will be permitted to remain enrolled at the school. Hallmark severed ties with Loughlin over her involvement in the scandal, while beauty brand Sephora said it would no longer work with Olivia Jade.