In the fashion industry, being both original and up-to-date on trends is essential. But sometimes, it's not so easy to be unique, and products that feed too much into a trend could be labeled knock-offs. Take the recent case between Stella McCartney
and Steve Madden
: Her most popular Falabella bag, which garnered her the attention of celebrities like Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron and Jennifer Lopez suddenly seemed to be gracing the shelves of Steve Madden's stores for one-tenth the price. But Stella didn't take this imitation as a sense of flattery; instead, she slapped Steve Madden with a lawsuit.
When looking at Stella's Falabella bag, and comparing it to Steve Madden's Btotally bag
, it's not difficult to see the similarities. Both totes feature chain trim with a chain handle and faux-leather material in similar patterns. The only difference seems to be that Steve's is a little less structured than Stella's.
According to the lawsuit, Stella is charging Steve with "trade dress infringement, unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, and design patent infringement," but by far, the worst of all is, "marketing and sale of a knock-off."
The lawsuit also says that Steve took the idea long after Stella's bag became popular, and that the knock-off was "a poorly made copy." Shots fired, Stella.
But probably one of Steve's biggest fashion faux pas is selling Stella's original design for significantly less. Most of her bags run between $815 for a micro size, to over $2,000 for the large fringed design; you can get Steve's for only $108.
And this isn't the first time Steve has been hit with a lawsuit for marketing someone else's design. E! Online
says that Steve Madden was also sued by Balenciaga last year for creating and selling a knock-off of their iconic motorcycle bag.
Do you think Steve ripped off Stella's bag, or are the designs totally different? Sound off in the comments below!