Steve Madden has found himself in the firing line for copyright issues many a time before. Back in July, Skechers filed a complaint against him for copying their ‘Go Walk’ sneakers. Before that, the designer received a complaint in May of last year from Balenciaga for imitating their ‘Motorcycle’ handbag, while the same brand also successfully sued Steve Madden for copyright infringement in regards to its ‘Lego’ shoes. And now, the designer has been hit with yet another property lawsuit.
This time, British designer Stella McCartney has accused the lower-priced brand of creating a “poorly-made” but “virtually identical” knock off of her Falabella foldover tote with their BTotally handbag.
According to court documents, the Stella McCartney copy is likely to “cause economic harm to consumers, given its shoddy quality.” It goes on to reference several poor reviews of Steve Madden’s BTotally bag from the website, as evidence that the copy will damage Stella McCartney’s reputation and result in a loss of sales should people mistake Steve Madden’s version for Stella’s.
In fact, the 22-page document also goes on to point out the uncanny similarities including the fabric inserts at the chain handles, the use of whip-stitching and the continuous chain extending to form handles.
As if that wasn’t enough, both Stella’s original and Steve Madden’s dupe are constructed solely of man-made materials, with ethically-dedicated designer Stella priding herself on commitment against using leather. Had Mr Madden used leather, the two totes may have been more decipherable.
For now though, no comment has been made by representatives from either party about whether the lawsuit has lead to an official suing. Judging by his previous run-ins with the law, we can’t say things are looking bright for Mr Madden..