Aquazzura Italia has sued Ivanka Trump and Mark Fisher Holdings, accusing them of trade dress infringement and unfair competition for selling what they claim is a copycat version of a popular pair of shoes made by the Florence-based shoe brand.
The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. district court in Manhattan, names Trump’s New York-based company IT Collection LLC, and Marc Fisher Holdings, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, accusing them of knocking off Aquazzura’s strappy stiletto “Wild Thing” shoes, which retail for $785 and are sold at department stores such as Barney’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and at the Aquazzura boutique in Manhattan.
The suit indicates that Ivanka Trump, who partnered with Marc Fisher to license her eponymous footwear brand in 2010, came out with something called the “Hettie” shoe, which the suit claims “copied nearly every detail of plaintiff’s well-known and coveted Wild Thing shoe from the shape and silhouette to the fringe covering the toes, to the tassel on the heel.” The shoes go for $145, and are selling at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s among others.
In addition, the suit claims that the Ivanka Trump brand sold a knockoff version of its “Forever Marilyn” shoe called the “Teagin,” a pointy-toe pump with tassel, and that it also copied its “Belgravia” shoe when it came out with the “Necila” shoe.
According to the suit, the company ceased selling the Necila after Aquazzura complained about it, but it has filed a countersuit of non-infringement over the Teagin pump.
Aquazzura, which was founded by designer Edgardo Osorio in 2011, wants an injunction barring the defendants from manufacturing and selling the allegedly infringing style, and is also seeking an accounting of profits earned and damages.
Matthew Burris, chief financial officer of Marc Fisher, told Women’s Wear Dailythat the suit lacks merit and that it will be fought vigorously. “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.”