Emily Ratajkowski may have just launched her swimwear line Ianmorata, but she's already found herself in hot water. Lisa Marie Fernandez, an independent swimwear designer, has filed a lawsuit against her for copyright infringement. In a statement, Fernandez said that Ratajkowski's "Cardiff" one-piece and "Vulcan" top are copies of her "Poppy" and "Leandra" designs. Fernandez's legal team has issued a cease-and-desist letter and has moved forward with a lawsuit in New York Court.
While copying designs is very normal in the fashion industry, and fashion copyright law continues to be such a grey area, Fernandez goes to great lengths to protect her designs from being ripped off. Her Leandra and Poppy styles are registered in Europe, and she is known for calling out brands and designers for copying her work. In the past, she's called out Triangl, Cotton On, Solid and Striped and even Victoria's Secret for alleged copyright infringement.
If her Instagram is any indication, Fernandez won't stop until justice is served. She has over several posts with related media coverage regarding her new lawsuit against Ratajkowski.
Ratajkowski spent weeks teasing her new swimwear line to her 15.6 million Instagram followers, which includes six pieces. The two styles that she allegedly copied from Fernandez were released three years ago. While fashion trends and styles are cyclical and known to trickle down, downright copying is another story.
Originally, Fernandez gave Inamorata Swim until November 22 to respond to her cease-and-desist letter. After a failure to respond, Fernandez moved ahead with the lawsuit.
Like most fashion copyright cases, intended copying could be difficult to prove. Ratajkowski originally said her Cardiff triple bow style was inspired by a vintage picture she saw of supermodel Stephanie Seymour. Like most cases with creative design, it begs the question "who really designed it first?"
FashionUnited has reached out for comment from Inamorata Swim, and will be following the development of this story.photo: via Inamorataswim.com