Looks like the Kardashains’ latest fashion project, the Kardashian Kollection for Sears is not all what is cranked up to be as the first problems have already begun to emerge in the brand endorsement paradise. While the fans of the stars might be excited about the latest designs in the collection, designer Monica Botkier is certainly not as she feels that the collection contains a knockoff after one of her fall 2009 handbag designs.
Not long after the first designs from the Kollection have emerged, the Botkier brand has spotted some striking similarities between the leopard printed handbag released for sale by the sisters and the Botkier’s Trigger Clyde, which was released two years earlier. In a blog post titled suggestively „K is Knockoff”, the designer takes a stand against the latest project endorsed by the Kardashians, 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 taken a stand against what she considers a design piracy. She sent a cease and desist letter to the Sears Holdings Corp and she will most likely enlist the help of 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, also seems to acknowledge the possibility that the sister’s 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.”
In the meanwhile, Sears have not made any comments regarding the matter, however the alleged knockoff handbag was quickly removed from the company’s website, probably to avoid the escalation of the scandal.
Photos: Getty Images, Sears, botkier.com