Ivanka Trump is speaking out against Aquazurra, the Italian footwear brand claiming she copied its designs.
According to British Vogue, Trump filed court documents denying the accusations made in the trademark lawsuit, which was filed back in June. The lawsuit accuses Trump of "repeated infringement" and claims Aquazzura's best-selling Wild Thing sandal is a copy of Trump's Hettie design.
One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn't care. You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery. #aquazzura #ivankatrump Proud of mine #madeinitaly #italiansdoitbetter ______
Aquazzura founder Edgardo Osorio posted an image of the two shoes in question on Instagram in March to show their similarities side-by-side. After posting the image, he clarified the attack isn't a personal one against Trump but against the industry as a whole.
"I have nothing against Ivanka Trump," he told Footwear News.
"It's not only her, and I'm glad to [call others out on Instagram also]. I plan to do the same with Steve Madden and other people who have ripped us off... Sometimes I look at the buys in department stores, and I see copies of my shoes. We need to be harder with our retailers. They need to protect us. You can't cannibalise one business with another," he added.
Matthew Burris, the CFO of Marc Fisher, Trump's licensing company, also denied the allegations, stating the lawsuit is without merit.
"This is a baseless lawsuit aimed at generating publicity. The shoe in question is representative of a trending fashion style, is not subject to intellectual property law protection and there are similar styles made by several major brands. The lawsuit is without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against the claim," he said back in June.
Aquazurra CEO Jean-Michel Vigneau, on the other hand, is confident his brand will be victorious in the case.
"Aquazzura is a young company that puts our heart and soul into our designs. We have brought this suit to protect the integrity of our designs, our hard work and to avoid consumers from being deceived. If a company is allowed to use designs that they did not create which consumers recognise as Aquazzura, then the original designs are compromised. We are confident that the law will not allow the type of copying that we have seen here," he said.