Jennifer Lopez’s popular green Versace gown is at the centre of a new lawsuit.
This year, the Hustlers actress proved that 50 has never looked better when she wore a redux of the palm-print gown she donned for the 2000 Grammy Awards. Lopez rocked the re-design on the runway, closing out Versace’s spring-summer 2020 show in Milan in September. The flowing gown inspired plenty of Halloween costumes and knockoffs, bearing resemblance to the Love Don’t Cost a Thing Costume from Yandy ($99.95), the Green Palm Leaf Pattern maxi dress from CiChic ($29.45), the Midnight in Miami Green Leaf dress from Indie XO ($89.99) and West Palms Tropical Maxi Dress from Fashion Nova ($49.99).
Versace is taking issue with the re-creations and on Monday sued fast-fashion retailer Fashion Nova for knocking off multiple designs, including Lopez’s “Jungle Pattern” dress, alleging copyright and trademark infringement. “Fashion Nova’s Infringing Apparel is plainly a deliberate effort to exploit the popularity and renown of Versace’s signature designs, and to trade on Versace’s valuable goodwill and business reputation,” according to the California complaint. “Versace seeks to bring an end to Fashion Nova’s latest brazen attempt at copying the work of yet another famous and world-renowned designer.”
The Italian fashion house points to three specific prints — its black and gold Barocco design, Pop Hearts design and Jungle Print design — that are copyrighted and have been manufactured and sold by Fashion Nova.
It calls Lopez’s dress “iconic” and an example of “Versace Trade Dresses” that signify an “overall look and feel that are original and unique” to Versace. Such key elements of Lopez’s dress are its leaf bamboo print; flowing sleeves; neckline that plunges to her belly button; high slit; and circular brooch at the navel.
Versace claims that its strict trademarks ensure quality control, which has allowed the brand to receive “widespread recognition and fame.” It fears consumers will be “confused and deceived” into thinking the Fashion Nova designs are the real thing, which would lead to the “tarnishing and degrading” of Versace’s image.
“Fashion Nova’s ability to churn out new clothing so quickly is due in large part to its willingness to copy the copyrighted designs, trademarks and trade dress elements of well-known designers such as Versace, and trade on their creative efforts in order to bolster Fashion Nova’s bottom line,” the lawsuit reads. Versace warned Fashion Nova in July, September, October and November.
Kim Kardashian also spoke up this year when Fashion Nova replicated her vintage cut-out Thierry Mugler gown, tweeting, “It’s devastating to see these fashion companies rip off designs that have taken the blood, sweat and tears of true designers who have put their all into their own original ideas.”
Versace is seeking an injunction, recall and payment including “all profits realized by its wrongful acts.” The label requests a trial by jury.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Fashion Nova for comment.
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