We all know the gown in question: the iconic green jungle print goddess dress worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammy Awards. It turned heads then, subsequently kickstarted Google search and made history once more when Versace showed it some twenty years later for its SS20 collection and nearly “broke” Instagram.
Iconic clothes inspire imitations, for which Versace is hoping a lawsuit against California-based fast fashion retailer Fashion Nova will see an end to it selling a suspiciously similar dress and other items.
On November 25th Versace filed a claim against Fashion Nova for copying its design and infringing trademarks for its infamous jungle print dress, but also its black-and-gold “Barocco – 57” design, and its colourful “Pop Hearts” design.
Versace stated the dress, which during Milan Fashion Week was worn by Jennifer Lopez closing Versace’s SS20 show, has five similarities to the original gown — a green tropical leaf and bamboo pattern, the plunging neckline, a high-cut leg slit, a circular brooch, and long flowing sleeves.
Little regard for designer’s rights
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Los Angeles, claimed Fashion Nova copied the dresses “in conscious disregard of Versace’s superior rights”.
“With this lawsuit, 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 suit said.
“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 like Versace, and trade on their creative efforts in order to bolster Fashion Nova’s bottom line.”
According to the Retail Gazette Versace is seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in punitive damages against the fast fashion retailer as well as demanding any profits Fashion Nova has made from selling the dresses and 90,000 dollars in statutory damages.
“As a result of Fashion Nova’s conduct, Versace has suffered irreparable harm to its Versace Trade Dresses, reputation and goodwill, for which it has no adequate remedy at law, unless and until the court orders the smaller company to stop,” the suit claimed.
According to Quarzy the dresses aren’t the only way Fashion Nova is infringing. It claims the company uses meta tags on its website as well as other “search engine optimization tactics and/or social media spamming” to get Fashion Nova’s pages to rank high on relevant searches and “misdirect consumers searching for Versace Apparel.”
Photo: Versace SS20, Catwalkpictures.com