Mansur Gavriel Responds to Claims of Copying

During New York Fashion Week last week, Mansur Gavriel debuted its first shoe collection alongside its it-girl favorite bags. While many in the industry were excited to see this emerging brand make its way into new areas of market, one fellow designer was not so please.

Designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh of New York City, released a statement claiming that the brand’s duo design team, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, had copied Zadeh’s “hallmark mule and slide designs” and that the shoes were also in identical colors to Zadeh’s Spring 2015 collection.

MG SS16 shot by @tommyton ❤️❤️❤️

A photo posted by Mansur Gavriel (@mansurgavriel) on

When pressed about her accusations by Business of Fashion, she revealed that her store records show purchases from “Rachel Mansur dating March, April and May 2015, of the exact styles and colors in question, as well [as] an earlier purchase of Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals from Floriana Gavriel in July 2014.” She cites this as evidence that the designers had access to her shoes and referenced them in their own line.

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Giorgio Armani, Corp. Sued For $75 Million

Giorgio Armani was sued last week by former employee Fabio Silva in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Silva worked as general counsel for the company for about a year from October 2014 to July 2015.

Silva alleges in his lawsuit that Giorgio Armani created a hostile work environment and unlawfully discharged Silva based on national origin and disability.

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Silva claims that because he is of Mexican descent he recieved discriminatory statements from a co-worker. He then met with Chief Operating Officer, Giorgio Fornari to complain; however, nothing was done to rectify the situation. In fact, Silva claims that the company then retaliated and denied his request for a raise because he complained of discrimination.

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Kering Brands Get Restraining Order Against Alibaba

Kering’s luxury brands have won an early victory in court in their fight against Chinese retailer, Alibaba over the claim that Alibaba sells fake goods on its website.

Back in May, Kering luxury brands including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga, sued Alibaba in New York, claiming that trademark infringement and the sell of counterfeit goods on the Chinese retailer’s website.

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This past week, these brands were granted their request for a temporary restraining order against several Alibaba vendors named in the suit. This is a huge win for these luxury brands because it means that the vendors must immediately cease the sale and distribution of the counterfeit goods on the Alibaba website.

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Olsen Twins’ The Row Sued by Former Interns

And so the class actions by former fashion interns continues. This time the lawsuit has been brought against The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen‘s high end fashion line. The interns are claiming that they were entitled to pay and were misclassified as interns because their responsibilities were those normally associated with employees and were subjected to excessive amounts of work and unfairly long hours.

The class action consists of about 40 former interns and the principal plaintiff, Shahista Lalani. Lalani is a former design intern who worked for The Row for 5 months in 2012.

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Her claims include 50-hour workweeks, a hospitalization for dehydration, and responsibility of menial or degrading tasks including late-night emails, and sorting buttons as well as running personal errands for her bosses.

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Let’s Talk About Endorsed Blogger Posts

Last year I attended a Fashion Law Symposium, where one of the topics discussed is the guidelines that the Federal Trade Commission has required that bloggers and influencers to disclose when a blog post, a tweet, an Instagram post, or Facebook post is endorsed by a brand or company. These guidelines are a response to the increasing influence and power that bloggers hold over consumers.

Many brands have recognized that consumers are more influenced by seeing people they admire wear or use products than the traditional means of advertising. A girl living in the middle of America who is obsessed with fashion is likely to get her style inspiration from bloggers whose style she loves and wants to emulate more than from magazines that have come to be seen as unattainable.

It’s undeniable that fashion bloggers are gaining more and more power in the industry, with mega bloggers like ManRepeller, Damsel in Dior, and Song of Style becoming regulars at front rows of major fashion shows, creating collaborations with high fashion brands, and eventually creating and distributing their own products.

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Tory Burch Wins Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

Since becoming a well-known brand, Tory Burch‘s unique designs and patterns have been copied time and again. Last year, the company filed trademark infringement lawsuits against these companies who misappropriated the well-known designs. One of those lawsuits was filed against New York-based jewelry company, Lin & J International.

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In the lawsuit, Tory Burch claimed that Lin & J misappropriated designs and patterns that are associated with the brand and was thus selling counterfeit jewelry. Lin & J responded with a counterclaim, asserting that Tory Burch engaged in unfair trade practices, tortious interference with it’s business, defamation and trademark infringement. It also claimed that it did not misappropriate any trademarks and that it’s jewelry was inspired by the Coptic cross.

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Skechers Sues Steve Madden for Patent Infringement

Steve Madden is in legal trouble, again. This time the shoe company has been sued by Skechers over claims that Steve Madden infringed on several of Skechers’ patents. The infringing patents are designs that are used in the Skechers Go Walk shoes.

Skechers claims that the Setta shoe in the Steve by Steve Madden collection infringed patents that govern the details of the Go Walk shoes’ uppers, outsoles, and bottoms. Skechers claims that selling the Setta style, damages Skechers business because the shoes are being sol alongside each other and causing confusion amongst the consumers.

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Oftentimes, a fashion brand typically sues based on a claim of trade dress or trademark infringement, governing aspects such as these. Converse had recently sued over 30 brands and retailers, and has settled with many of them, over trademarks they hold for their signature Chuck Taylor All Stars. Suing based on a patent claim, is relatively unheard of within the fashion industry.

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ZARA Sued for Employee Discrimination

ZARA USA, Inc. has recently been sued by its former General Counsel, Jack Miller in New York’s Supreme Court. Miller is asserting violations of New York state and city laws prohibiting discrimination, wrongful discharge, retaliation and a hostile work environment.

Miller is asking the court for damages, including lost compensation, back pay, front pay, compensatory damages, liquidated damages, and punitive damages, all amounting to $40 million.

Miller held the post of General Counsel of the American department of the retail giant from January 2008 until March 2015. He helped to build the legal department and handled all the legal matters that ZARA USA, Inc. encountered during his time there, including litigation, real estate transactions and acquisitions.

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During his time at ZARA, Miller began to notice a hostile work environment because he didn’t fit in ZARA’s demographic of straight, Spanish and Christian. Miller claims that his supervisors and peers began to send him homophobic emails, make anti-Semitic remarks, and claimed that Spanish employees had greater job security than other employees.

Miller complained to Javier Monteoliva, Inditex Group‘s highest legal officer; however, Miller claims that no steps were taken to rectify the situation. Miller states that on March 2, 2015, Monteoliva then told Miller that his position at ZARA was in jeopardy and that one of Miller’s peers, Dilip Patel, who had engaged in harassing conduct, was very close to ZARA founder, Amancio Ortega, and therefore was unlikely to be reprimanded for his behavior.

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Hard Candy Sues Madonna for Trademark Infringement

Madonna was recently sued by cosmetics company, Hard Candy for infringing on its trademark by attempting to create and license fitness clubs and clothing with the name Hard Candy. Named in the suit are Madonna, her manager Guy Oseary, MGHCandy and Epic Rights.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 3.59.40 PM image via www.hardcandyfitness.com

Hard Candy is a cosmetics company that has been around since the mid-90’s when it became popular with its fun and quirky nail polish colors. Hard Candy is claiming that it has held a trademark over the name “Hard Candy” since 1996 in the area of cosmetics and has licensed the name for other products including clothing and accessories since 2009.

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Exciting News!!

I’m excited to announce that I have begun working with my sister in her newly create law firm, Jafari & Jafari Law!! We do just about every kind of law, immigration, family law, and business law. My focus in this venture will be on my bread and butter, which is transactional law (think contract drafting and review), entertainment law, and obviously fashion law.

Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 2.50.11 PMWe’re very excited about this new adventure and have been working really hard to create a great environment and excellent service for our clients! Our office is based in Orange County, California, but we serve the greater Southern California area. So if any of you, dear readers, are in need of some legal services, let us know and we can see how we can help!!

You can email me at bjafari@jafarilawapc.com or give us a call at (714)546-4600.