Lately the Kardashians have been noticed everywhere and one of the greatest news was their collaboration with Sears, launching the first Kardashians fashion line. However, the Kardashians’ step into the fashion world with the new Sears Fall 2011 Kollection seems to be not so rosy, as expected. While the fans of the sisters might be excited about the new project, offering them already clothing and accessories, designer Monica Botkier is far not, as she feels there is a knockoff after one of her fall 2009 handbag designs in the collection.
Immediately after the Kollection emerged, the Botkier brand spotted some similarities between the leopard printed handbag and the Botkier’s Trigger Clyde, which was released two years earlier. In a blog post, titled “K is Knockoff”, the designer criticizes the Kardashian project writing: “Ironically we just discovered below how our Botkier ‘Clyde’ was simply copied by Kardashian Kollection for Sears. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but we don’t think so…”.
The designer has already carried out some measures to protect the right of her brand. She sent a cease and desist letter to the Sears Holdings Corp and she will most likely turn to the CFDA, who recently launched the You Can’t Fake Fashion Campaign against design piracy. In an interview for WWD, the designer explains her position: “In a case like this, it’s upsetting because it’s a trademarked shape for us, and people recognize it by sight. It’s a lot more complicated because it’s hard for independent designers to do anything against mass retailers or megabrands. It really calls attention to what Steven Kolb and the CFDA are really working towards — its not necessarily about sticking on a fake label, you are actually taking someone’s design idea. This definitely hurts people in the industry and it makes it more difficult that you can’t protect it by law. The CFDA is working on trying to change these laws and make designs more protected.”
Steven Kolb states: “All designers deserve the right to design protection and only the creator of an original design should profit from that design. Taking someone’s work and calling it your own is wrong and robs the designer of a rightful return of their investment.”
The Botkier brand, on the other hand, acknowledges the possibility that the sisters might be unaware of this infringement: “Most likely the Kardashians have no idea but should definitely pay closer attention to the products they put their name on. The licensee probably does know and the design department within. Shame on them, it’s a small industry. That’s why the CFDA, which I am a member of, is fighting so hard to protect original design and fight piracy. Brands and companies are built on that, piracy is extremely devastating.”
As for Sears, they have not made any comments regarding this matter, but they hurried up to remove the knockoff handbag from the company’s website, probably to avoid the escalation of the scandal.
Photos: Getty Images, Sears, botkier.com