Copying may be rubbing the wrong way in the fashion industry. Be it copying someones style, manners, things people do or events they attend. It is also rare to seelabels copying each other. Take for exampleMaryam Nassir Zadehwho made headlines by accusing accessories label Mansur Gavriel of directly copying her mule sandal. The label took it out to public by posting their concern on Instagram and social media to voice her conerns.
“In September 2015, Mansur Gavriel launched their first shoe collection featuring seemingly exact replicas of Maryam’s hallmark mule and slide designs in colours identical to Maryam’s Spring 2015 collection that was released one year ago,” Nassir Zadeh’s representative said in a statement released on Wednesday.
She mentions similarities in shoe design, Mansur Gavriel recently launched concentrating on the color of deep coral and material suede. Nassir Zadeh issued a statement where she says, “Since I was notified of Mansur Gavriel design’s likeness to my shoes, I did research into Maryam Nassir Zadeh store records. I found proof of purchase receipts [from my store] from Rachel Mansur dating March, April and May 2015, of the exact styles and colours in question, as well an earlier purchase of Maryam Nassir Zadeh sandals from Floriana Gavriel in July 2014. For me, this is clear proof that they had my designs as a reference to develop their shoe line by emulating my shapes, materials and colours.”
"Recently it has come to our attention that fellow New York City brand Maryam Nassir Zadeh is claiming similarities between her designs and our newly launched Spring/Summer 2016 shoe collection. This deeply saddens us as any similarity is completely coincidental. Our line has been developed and designed over a period of 18 months, drawing inspiration from classic shoe silhouettes and the iconic colors and materials of our handbag collection."
Mansur Gavriel was founded in 2012 with a dedication to providing clean, classic handbag designs crafted in the highest quality Italian leathers. It is our design philosophy and concept to concentrate on a few classical shapes in a wide array of colours and materials. That same philosophy guided us in designing our shoe collection which consists of 4 styles, 5 heel heights, 2 fabrications and 16 colours, resulting in 320 SKUs. The colours selected for this collection all tie back to the interior and exterior colours of our core handbag collection, which has been on the market since June 2013.
We respect Maryam Nassir Zadeh as a designer and retailer, and are customers of her store. However, we believe that neither she nor we can claim ownership of a mule or slide or block heel or colour, for that matter. We are well aware of rampant imitation of young designers in the marketplace and have personally experienced this many times. However, we are also well aware we do not own the silhouette of the bucket bag or the tote."
Will Nassir Zadeh, takelegal action against Mansur Gavriel? We hope not. “There is a great deal of similarity between the shoes,” observes professor Susan Scafidi, founder of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University. “That being said, this is not a design that US law is likely to protect.”
Let's go back to the case of two great houses Christian Louboutin and YSL. Christian Louboutin has won his court case against Yves Saint Laurent when he claimed his trademark for red-sole shoes. But Christian Louboutin had resources. In the case of Nassir Zadeh, Even if she is confident that she has a case, the costs of pursuing legal action may not outweigh the benefits according to Business of Fashion.
Mansur Gavriel is a strong brand and to blame them for copying style of the classic shoe that is been there forever, is not a smart move if you ask us. Should all the fashion housessue Zara then?
Getting loud on social media maybe the widest success Nassir Zadeh will get out of all of this, but it can backfire as well. Never try to blame based on emotions, instead create the trademark that will definitely make you stand out from others.
Both are two great fashion houses and they should have better things to do than to fight in court over a question of colur.
Text Miles Socho