adidas clothing uk Ivanka Trump set for court battle over
Coveted by celebrities and fashionbloggersalike, these $785 suede numbers became a true “It” shoe since gaining traction in 2015. They helped catapult the designer and his label to international prominence.
So when he discovered that the clothing brand run by the daughter of now President Donald Trumpwas making a similar item for only $65, he called in the lawyers.
Arguably similar styles hit store shelves under labels including Mollini, Missguided, and Jessica Buurman. Aquazzura didn’t challenge the smaller brands, but instead went after what he claimed to be the larger copycats: Steve Madden, Marc Fisher, and Ivanka Trump. “You should know better.
“Based on Aquazzura’s prior dealings with your client’s company, and on the obvious and purposeful copying of our client’s shoe, we anticipate that you will challenge Aquazzura’s rights in its design, maintaining that the designs lack secondary meaning, and that your client is therefore free to knock them off with impunity,” the letter said, citing some of the elements of infringement.
To avoid a court battle, Aquazzura demanded Trump’s company remove all pictures of the sandal in question from its website and social media, stop advertising the shoe, destroy all existing pairs, disclose its manufacturer, hand over profits from sales of the offending shoe, and “agree in writing under oath not to offer for sale any knock off” again.
Aquazzura gave Ms Trump a week to comply, or else face legal action.
Ms Trump did not comply, so two months later, Aquazzura sued her along with Marc Fisher. In a complaint filed in June 2016 in Manhattan federal court, the company accused Trump of infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices.
“Seeking the same success Aquazzurra experienced but without having to put in the hard creative work, defendants resorted to knocking off plaintiff’s popular designs,” the complaint stated. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Darren Saunders, attorney for the defendants, said Wednesday that the two sides are in settlement talks. Lawyers for Aquazzura declined to comment.
Intellectual property spats are common in the fashion industry, but most quarrels are resolved before parties get near a courtroom. Such lawsuits areimmensely expensive,complexand can drag onfor years.
When a mega company goes after a mom and pop, matters are often settled with a nasty letter. But when twoequally matchedcompanies with deep pockets and a history of bad blood find themselves on opposite sides, lawyer’s fees can add up, and a trial just might happen.
“I’ve seen people go all the way when they can’t even afford it to teach someone a lesson,” said trademark lawyer Sonia Lakhany.
Colombia born Osorio and his company arrived on the Italian shoe scene in 2011 when he was just 25, after stints at storied fashion houses Roberto Cavalli and Ferragamo.
Based in Florence, his brand broke out of a pack of upstart labels with a few hot styles: cutout booties, pointy lace up flats, and those sandals. Mr Osorio’s shoes are now sold by more than 300 retailers around the world.
Aquazzura’s own flagships are in big cities, including the global fashion centres of London, Paris, and New York.
Five years isn’t a long time in the sexy shoe department, but star power helped Aquazzura quickly convince shoppers to don its pricey pairs.
Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, and Rihanna have all been spotted in Osorio’s kicks, while Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid sported Aquazzura booties.
The label also partnered with model Poppy Delevingne to create a celebrity infused capsule collection, a one off set of designer clothing. It did the same with New York socialite Olivia Palermo.
Predictably, the glossies and fashion blogs fawned over the chic heels, sandals, and boots. Last year, he decided to hold his 30th birthday party in Florence’s Palazzo Corsini, a two day bash complete with a surrealist ball.
Guests arrived in full costume to dine under towering gold candelabras. Osorio sported a massive headpiece with two curved angel wings pointed skyward, like a mythical deity turned haute couture. In the world of high fashion, he had arrived.
There won’t be any ritziness if Aquazzura’s fight with Ms Trump ends up at a lower Manhattan courthouse. US District Judge Katherine Forrest set trial for next March, triggering a production line of legal filings, evidence demands, and depositions of witnesses from both sides in preparation for their day in court.
Come next spring, if a settlement hasn’t been reached, the trial may begin exactly two years after Aquazzura’s angry Instagram post.
Ivanka Trump wants nothing to do with the case, let alone a trial. She tried to duck a deposition by arguing she shouldn’t be forced to testify because she isn’t involved in the design or sale of her company’s allegedly offending shoe.
“Ms Trump was not aware of the Aquazzura style ‘Wild Thing’ shoe at the time she signed off on the season line that contained the Ivanka Trump style ‘Hettie’ shoe,” Saunders, her lawyer, argued in a letter to the judge. “The burden of a deposition of Ms Trump would far outweigh any likely benefit to Aquazzura.” Saunders added that her role as a “high ranking government official” should preclude her from having to submit to a deposition. (Trump was appointed to be an assistant to her father in the White House).
On June 23, Forrest rejected Trump’s argument. “She is alleged to have personal involvement in the events at issue in this lawsuit,” the judge ruled. “She cannot avoid a deposition in this matter.”
Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand has had a rocky history when it comes to copycat allegations. Less than a year after she began selling footwear, her company was called out by New York designer label Derek Lam for allegedly copying a sandal style.