Designer Edgardo Osorio, the co-founder and creative director of Aquazzura, has been mounting a legal challenge to Ivanka Trump for years over shoe designs the President's daughter may have stolen. Now, Ivanka may have to appear in court to battle against the claims of thievery.
Ivanka has faced a bevy of complaints pertaining to her possibly lifted looks, but according to Bloomberg, many of those situations were settled out of court. Osorio's taking the matter more seriously after noticing a pair of $65 sandals being sold by Ivanka that were suspiciously similar to a $785 pair of "Wild Thing" footwear that he's been hawking.
Osorio took out multiple suits against the Trump brand and other companies selling similar rip-offs, including Steven Madden and Marc Fisher.
“One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn’t care,” his label posted on its Instagram. “You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery.”
A cease-and-desist letter was sent at the time. “Based on Aquazzura’s prior dealings with your client’s company, and on the obvious and purposeful copying of our client’s shoe, we anticipate that you will challenge Aquazzura’s rights in its design, maintaining that the designs lack secondary meaning, and that your client is therefore free to knock them off with impunity,” the letter said. The brand gave Ivanka two weeks to comply with specific demands, including that Trump’s company remove all pictures of the sandal in question from its website and social media, stop all advertising of the product, destroy all existing pairs, disclose its manufacturer, hand over profits from sales of the offending shoe, and “agree in writing under oath not to offer for sale any knock-off” again. Trump did not comply, thus leading to an official court challenge.
“Seeking the same success Aquazzurra experienced but without having to put in the hard creative work, defendants resorted to knocking off plaintiff’s popular designs,” the complaint stated.
Trump has denied any misconduct or wrongdoing.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forres set a trial to begin in March of 2018, almost exactly 2 years since Aquazzurra's Instagram post. That gives Ivanka lots of time to attempt to settle, although statements from her team are suggesting she has nothing to do with the company's design process.
“Trump was not aware of the Aquazzura style ‘Wild Thing’ shoe at the time she signed off on the season line that contained the Ivanka Trump style ‘Hettie’ shoe,” argued Darren Saunders, Ivanka's lawyer. “The burden of a deposition of Ms. Trump would far outweigh any likely benefit to Aquazzura.”
Forrest has already rejected Saunders' claim: “She is alleged to have personal involvement in the events at issue in this lawsuit,” the judge ruled. “She cannot avoid a deposition in this matter.”
The Trump knock-offs are still currently being sold on Amazon and Bluefly.
[Photo: Getty Images]