Ivanka Trump Faces Courtroom Showdown Over $785 Sandals

Edgardo Osorio’s prized sandals sit on a glass shelf inside his Madison Avenue boutique under zebra-striped arches and golden chandeliers. The shoes have skinny heels, frills, and a tassel dangling from a dainty ankle strap that weaves up the leg. These days, they’re available in all kinds of colors and materials, but their signature suede style comes in a bold lipstick red.

Osorio, the co-founder and creative director of fashion label Aquazzura, calls the sandal one of his most iconic creations. Coveted by celebrities and fashion bloggers alike, these $785 suede numbers became a true “It” shoe since gaining traction in 2015. They helped catapult the designer and his label to international prominence. So when he discovered that the clothing brand run by the daughter of now-President Donald Trump was making a similar item for only $65, he called in the lawyers.

Fed up with alleged duplicate shoe designs, Aquazzura fired off multiple lawsuits over his Wild Thing sandal. Arguably similar styles hit store shelves under labels including Mollini, Missguided, and Jessica Buurman. Aquazzura didn’t challenge the smaller brands, but instead went after what he claimed to be the larger copycats: Steve Madden, Marc Fisher, and Ivanka Trump.

“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 account in March 2016. “You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery.” Aquazzura sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump about the shoe, asking her company to stop selling its sandal. 

“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, citing some of the elements of infringement. To avoid a court battle, Aquazzura demanded Trump’s company remove all pictures of the sandal in question from its website and social media, stop advertising the shoe, 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. Aquazzura gave Trump a week to comply, or else face legal action. 

Trump did not comply, so two months later, Aquazzura sued her along with Marc Fisher. In a complaint filed in June 2016 in Manhattan federal court, the company accused Trump of infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. “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 wrongdoing. Darren Saunders, attorney for the defendants, said Wednesday that the two sides are in settlement talks. Lawyers for Aquazzura declined to comment.

Intellectual property spats are common in the fashion industry, but most quarrels are resolved before parties get near a courtroom. Such lawsuits are immensely expensivecomplex and can drag on for years. When a mega-company goes after a mom-and-pop, matters are often settled with a nasty letter. But when two equally matched companies with deep pockets and a history of bad blood find themselves on opposite sides, the attorneys fees can add up, and a trial just might happen.

“I’ve seen people go all the way when they can’t even afford it—to teach someone a lesson,” said trademark lawyer Sonia Lakhany.

Source: Court filings.

Colombia-born Osorio and his company arrived on the Italian shoe scene in 2011 when he was just 25, after stints at storied fashion houses Roberto Cavalli and Ferragamo. Based in Florence, his brand broke out of a pack of upstart labels with a few hot styles: cutout booties, pointy lace-up flats, and those sandals. Osorio’s shoes are now sold by more than 300 retailers around the world. Aquazzura’s own flagships are in big cities, including the global fashion centers of London, Paris, and New York.

Five years isn’t a long time in the sexy shoe department, but star power helped Aquazzura quickly convince shoppers to don its pricey pairs. Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, and Rihanna have all been spotted in Osorio’s kicks, while Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid sported Aquazzura booties. The label also partnered with model Poppy Delevingne to create a celebrity-infused capsule collection, a one-off set of designer clothing. It did the same with New York socialite Olivia Palermo.

Predictably, the glossies and fashion blogs fawned over the chic heels, sandals, and boots. “We’ve never met a pair of Aquazzura shoes we didn’t want to buy,” a fashion editor wrote.  gushed over the fringe sandals, declaring them “fiercely fashion forward.” even lauded an Aquazzura wallpaper collection as “the most beautiful thing you’ll see this spring.”

Aquazzura’s celebrity following meshed with Osorio’s over-the-top extravagance. Last year, he decided to hold his 30th birthday party in Florence’s Palazzo Corsini, a two-day bash complete with a surrealist ball. Guests arrived in full costume to dine under towering gold candelabras. Osorio sported a massive headpiece with two curved angel wings pointed skyward, like a mythical deity turned haute couture. In the world of high fashion, he had arrived.

Ivanka Trump
Photographer: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

There won’t be any ritziness if Aquazzura’s fight with Trump ends up at a lower Manhattan courthouse. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest set trial for next March, triggering a production line of legal filings, evidence demands, and depositions of witnesses from both sides in preparation for their day in court. Come next spring, if a settlement hasn’t been reached, the trial may begin exactly two years after Aquazzura’s angry Instagram post.

Ivanka Trump wants nothing to do with the case, let alone a trial. She tried to duck a deposition by arguing she shouldn't be forced to testify because she isn’t involved in the design or sale of her company’s allegedly offending shoe.

“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,” Saunders, her lawyer, argued in a letter to the judge. “The burden of a deposition of Ms. Trump would far outweigh any likely benefit to Aquazzura.” Saunders added that her role as a “high ranking government official” should preclude her from having to submit to a deposition. (Trump was appointed to be an assistant to her father in the White House).

On June 23, Forrest rejected Trump’s argument. “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.”

Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand has had a rocky history when it comes to copycat allegations. Less than a year after she began selling footwear, her company was called out by New York designer label Derek Lam for allegedly copying a sandal style. A cease-and-desist letter was sent, and while Trump’s representatives denied the allegations, her brand pulled the shoes from online shops and store shelves. Then in 2012, California clothing brand Mystique sued Trump’s trademark holding company over a different pair of sandals. She rejected the claims. Seven months later, the parties reached a settlement. In 2016, the Trump label was the target of two patent infringement lawsuits, which were both dismissed.

As for Aquazzura’s Wild Thing sandal, that case largely comes down to something called trade dress. Aquazzura is trying to show that its style is so distinct and well-known that consumers equate the design with the label. “Any time you have trade dress involved in fashion, you’re saying ‘We’re the Louboutin red’ or ‘We’re the Burberry flat,’” said Lakhany, the trademark attorney. “They’re saying ‘it’s so connected to our brand, this is who we are.’”

In this case, the key design component is the red fringe. Lakhany expressed doubt as to whether that was enough to hang a lawsuit on:  “I don’t know if the red fringe design can hold up to Louboutin red and Burberry plaid.”

In addition to Wild Thing, the Aquazzura complaint stated that Trump’s company had copied a pointy-toed black pump, the Forever Marilyn shoe, and a strappy low-heeled sandal, the Belgravia. At the same time last year, Aquazzura sued Steve Madden for infringement on three different shoe designs. (Madden disputed the allegations. That fight settled “in principle” in April according to court records, but the judge subsequently reopened the matter a month later at Aquazzura’s request. (Spokespeople for Madden and lawyers for Aquazzura declined to comment.) 

Meanwhile, life goes on for Trump and Osorio as trial nears. Her sandals continue to be sold on Amazon.com and Bluefly.com, and Aquazzura is opening new stores, including a boutique in Costa Mesa, Calif. Osorio has remained quiet about his battle with the first daughter since the saga began. That is, until April when he took the stage at a conference in Muscat, Oman. Appearing at a swanky resort and spa, Osorio and the moderator chatted about his rising popularity and glitzy stores. In an aside, he addressed the Trump spat with both a sly dig and a humble brag.

“The funny thing is that, whether it’s her or anyone else, when it’s good, everyone wants to copy it and make money off it,” he said.

Ivanka Trump: The Quiet Power Behind the President

 

    More From this publisher : HERE

     


    RELATED PRODUCTS
  1. Discover The Secrets To Overcome Aging And Shrink Wrinkles With Face Yoga Exercises In 30 Days
  2. Put small animated peel image at the top corner right or left on webpage
  3. Print a lesson a day. Beginner level http://www.abcyoucandraw.com/
  4. Packed full of the info you need for profitable horse racing
  5. Join Our Community To Learn All About Commodity Trading And Show Off Your Trading Skills
  6. ApeSurvival is all about survival and self-defense products, tips and news.
  7. The stunning secret of turning your wife on with the push of a button.
  8. Change Your Mind, Change Your Life Influence Your Mind and Others.
  9. Clickbank Ads
     

    If you like our content help us with a share… or two …  

    Also -  I have some free stuff for you .......

    Nr 1. In This FREE Report you can Discover:

    Secrets to acquiring the freshest, hottest leads via YouTube In-Stream ads quickly and easily! Best secret tips for the most effective targeting for your ads! Totally legal, but little-known method for literally stealing traffic from your competitors! Get more traffic to your videos and landing pages without spending a fortune! And much more - all within this special FREE report!

     

    Nr 2. Did you know you can Absolutely EXPLODE YOUR EMAIL LIST FOR FREE with UNTOUCHED offline sources?

     

    Nr 3. The #1 secret to becoming an affiliate superstar - Earn your first $100 online – without a dime to invest.

    If you’re still looking to “make it online – I have just the thing for you. It’s a video series that shows how to make your first $100 online – even if you don’t have a dime to invest. Yes – nothing.  Free.  Nada. Is this possible? You bet. It’s the most powerful system used by those “in the know”. Good things don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t only come to those who wait. Have A Look

     

    Nr 4. Top 10 Email Marketing Mistakes. Which of these mistakes do you make?

     

    Nr 5.  You can learn about : The hottest social networking site that will send an unlimited stampede of traffic to your site - for FREE! How to quickly locate a swarm of hungry buyers using "information portals"! The fast and easy way to use simple images to siphon targeted traffic, on command! Learn how to get the most possible traffic from Instagram, and make sure that traffic converts! And much more ...

     

    Nr 6. It’s no secret… Facebook is an incredible place to get tons of free, viral traffic. But… most people are going about it all wrong.  How many of these mistakes are you making? Download the free report to find out.

       

    Nr 7.  Special free report .  It's called "Operation Midas Touch" and you can download it here...

    The report features a surefire method for generating at least $1000 per week online,without a website or product of your own!

    Nr 8.  Instagram is still one of the hottest ways to get a LOT of traffic fast. All by sharing images. Sounds easy enough, yeah? Well, yes and no. If you want to really start driving a lot of  traffic and making sales using Instagram then you should download this report.

    Nr 9.  When it comes to creating a product online there are so many ways to approach it. Wouldn’t it be great to just get the meat of it all so you can get started faster? Well, the good news is, today you can download a guide called the Product Creation Formula Quickstart Guide. It’s as the title suggests - a Quickstart guide. You’ll get a list of action steps to take right away. Download your copy today !

    Nr 10. Would you like to finally USE all of that dusty PLR you have sitting around on your harddrive? Or maybe find the resources for the best PLR available - at the best prices? What about how to use that PLR to make you money with just a few minutes of work. Well, you’re not going to want to miss this!

      Nr 11. Buzzfeed’s top post has more than 21 million views. Think about that for a sec… ONE of their articles has had over 21 million people who have read it! And they have thousands of articles... what would you do with that kind of traffic? A friend of mine hacked their method and was able to use it to get 11,592 targeted new subscribers in 2 weeks on their very first attempt!

    Nr 12. Push notifications are one of today's hottest trends in website traffic and conversions, and for good reason. Studies have shown that as many as 40% of people will opt-in for push notifications, which is about TEN TIMES the rate of people who opt-in for emails! That’s huge! Not only that, but they're also highly effective at pulling clicks, as well. Some studies have shown CTR at an average of around 40%, with highs of as much as 80%! Again, that’s huge!

    Nr 13. Would you like to know how to get more money from the exact same number of website visitors you’re currently getting? Even if you’re website is getting as few as 1-2 visitors a day, this report will show you how to increase your profits using these few handy hacks.

    Nr 14. People have now realised that it's not the size of the list which matters, it's the quality. ... and the only way to create a quality list is by launching your own products. Let it be $7 ebooks, $17 info products, $27 video training product or software's... all of these work. My good friend Kevin Fahey has is revealing how he's launched over 20 products in the past 4 years, many of them top sellers. Needless to say he's banked a handsome amount in this time.

    Nr 15. Do you ever feel that the man you like or even love, just doesn't see you or desire you in way you want him to? Or... maybe you're able to get a man's attention though not the right kind of attention? Or... maybe you're still single because you wait and wait for men to approach you first? What you may not know is that the way we flirt will either attract the "wrong" man for us or the "right" man.

    Nr 16. When it comes to getting sales and leads online, there is ONE thing that 95% of marketers use... it's called a LIST. My friend Jimmy just released a free book that explains WHY a list is important and how YOU can build your own list. It's available right here (and it won't cost you a penny)

    Nr 17. If you have tried everything, and still aren't able to get your Ex back, then you need to pay attention.

    Nr 18. What if I told you that you could make ANY woman WANT to do ANYTHING for you? Would you think I'm crazy? Well... what If I told you that you could also make her LOVE every minute of it and come back for more?

       

    Nr 19. I have a special free plugin for you today. It's called "Covert Hover Mini"

    This plugin will triple your blog traffic by compelling your visitors to share your images on social media. This is some really clever stuff and it works like a charm. After you grab your free plugin, don't  forget to read the free bonus report as it will show exactly how and why this strategy works like crazy.

    Nr 20. The days of being able to get away with a basic WP theme and a pic or two are gone, your site needs to look good. Even Google are looking for you to have engaging graphics on your site. But getting good quality graphics made for your site is a pain, AND it will cost you both time and money (if you outsource it). But I have a special free download for you today. A virtual treasure chest of over 21K profit pulling graphics you can start sing today to generate more traffic & sales!

    Nr 21. 20 professional full HD background videos. These background videos are perfect for giving your videos that extra kick they need to stand out from the crowd Oh yeah they are in full 1080p HD too, I hope you'll enjoy them.

    Nr 22. If you've ever failed to create a WordPress site of your own or typically waste hours & even weeks trying to figure it all out on your own....

    Nr 23. No doubt, you've seen all of the video launches lately! There is a reason for it... Video marketing is a GREAT way to make money, and with the recent creation tools making it super accessable for anyone to get started... It's no surprise that more people are making videos. However... there is a missing element to most video marketing products...

    Nr 24. For the first time ever... You can get the straight scoop on how someone is selling over $1,000,000/year of t-shirts on Facebook!

    Use them  .... and have fun !