Indie Designer Claims Yoko Ono Stole Her Ideas


Brooklyn-based independent designer Haleh Nematzadeh is suing Yoko Ono and the boutique Opening Ceremony for allegedly copying her clothing designs. Nematzadeh says that Opening Ceremony photographers met with her in July to discuss photographing her clothes for the store catalog and saw sketches of her line. Nematzadeh claims the store then used those sketches as the inspiration for the men’s wear line it produced for Yoko Ono. Both Nematzadeh’s work and the Yoko Ono men’s wear line feature black hand prints overlaid on the crotches of pants, cut-outs at the nipple, and sheer fabrics. Nematzadeh’s collection also included a clear plastic chest board with pictures of tabletop bells on the nipples; Ono’s line included a clear plastic chest board with actual tabletop bells on the nipples. Still, intellectual property protection for most apparel is weak, and even if Nematzadeh’s claims about meeting with Opening Ceremony’s agents before Ono’s line was created are true, she may have an uphill battle winning her case. [NYPost]

Here is a picture of Karlie Kloss holding a rabbit in 2003. [DFR]

  • The Kardashians’ cosmetics licensee is appealing a judge’s decision to bar the distribution of the new Kardashian-branded makeup line, Khroma Beauty, pending the outcome of a trademark lawsuit brought by the older company Kroma Makeup. The Kardashians’ partner argues that since Khroma was just beginning to hit stores when the injunction was delivered, “there are currently millions of units in warehouse or on order, worth tens of millions of dollars,” and the injunction will harm its business. [WWD]
  • J.C. Penney senior vice-president of product development and design Nick Wooster understands what the struggling retailer’s problem is. When asked what Penney needs to do, Wooster replied, “make cute shit.” [WWD]
  • After bloggers identified a sharp trench coat and classic black handbag worn by the Chinese First Lady, Peng Liyuan, on an official visit to Russia as the work of a Chinese label called Exception, the surge of interest in those items crashed Exception’s Web site and inspired countless posts about her style on social-networking sites. Other retailers have even scrambled to jump on the trend, creating roundups of items dedicated to Peng’s style, many of which, the Associated Press notes, did not even resemble the items she wore. (Sound familiar to anyone who’s ever browsed a “Get Kate Middleton’s Style!!!1!” slideshow?) [AP]
  • Vera Wang just opened its first store on the Chinese mainland, and it has already become the target of criticism because of one controversial policy. The boutique requires prospective customers to pay a $482 fee to try on wedding dresses. That payment entitles a bride-to-be to 90 minutes of playing dress-up. If she decides to make a purchase, the $482 is deducted from the cost of the dress. If not, then the fee is forfeit. The Chinese store is the only Vera Wang store to have this policy. The brand says it instituted it to protect its copyright. Holding your customers in suspicion of trying to knock off your clothes sure seems like a good way to make a positive impression. [Global Post]
  • Iman turned up to fête the opening of designer Stephen Burrows’ retrospective at the Museum of the City of New York. She reminisced about how Burrows helped her learn to walk on the runway. “He was one of the first designers who asked to see me. I knew nothing about how to walk. I had never worn heels, never mind walk in them,” said the supermodel. “Stephen literally got on his knees to help me. He and Bethann Hardison are the Statue of Liberty to me. They were the most welcoming things to me when I first came to New York. I will always remember what they did.” [WWD]
  • After 28 years together, designers Mark Badgley and James Mishka married at City Hall in New York. [WWD]
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