The trouble began with a pair of ruby red, suede stiletto heels, accented with fringe and an ankle strap design.
And even though those shoes — Ivanka Trump’s $65 “Hettie” sandals — have since been pulled from online shelves, one shoe designer is taking her to court for allegedly stealing his signature design, reports Bloomberg.
Edgardo Osorio, co-founder and creative director of Italian fashion label Aquazzura, credits his $785 “Wild Thing” shoe as some of his best work, winning popularity with celebrities and putting the Colombia-born designer on the map. But in March of 2016, Osoria roundly rejected the notion that imitation is the highest form of flattery when he accused Trump of creative theft over her lookalike Hettie heels.
Publishing a scorching Instagram post from the company page with a side-by-side photo of the shoes last March, Osorio wrote “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,” he wrote. “Shame on you @ivankatrump!”
Hoping to settle the matter outside the courtroom, Aquazzurra requested that Trump pull the “Hettie” all advertising and production of the shoe as well as handing over any previous profits of the heels, Bloomberg said. When the First Daughter’s label did not comply, the Italian label filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court. A trial is now set for March 2018.
Though Trump tried swerve the deposition on the grounds that she is no longer involved in the designs or sales of her eponymous fashion line, having resigned soon before her father’s presidential inauguration, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest denied this plea. “She is alleged to have personal involvement in the events at issue in this lawsuit. She cannot avoid a deposition in this matter,” Forrest ruled.
Though intellectual property lawsuits can be costly, complicated and take years to resolve, Aquazarra is sticking to its guns.
“I have nothing against Ivanka Trump. It’s not only her, and I’m glad to do other posts,” Osorio told Footwear News of the social media post that set the legal saga in motion. “I plan to do the same with Steve Madden and other people who have ripped us off … We need to be harder with our retailers. They need to protect us. You can’t cannibalize one business with another.”
Bloomberg adds that Osorio plans to go after Marc Fisher, too.