link.png Fury over Fallabella: Stella McCartney sues Steve Madden← Back

Gucci vs. Guess, Louboutin vs. Zara… lawsuits are certainly not uncommon in the fashion world. The latest case to emerge involves Stella McCartney, who is suing US footwear label Steve Madden for trade dress infringement. The London-based luxury designer has filed charges in New York against Stevee Madden for the BTotally bag, which bears distinct similarities to Stella McCartney’s Falabella tote bag, including the shape, use of man-made fabrics and a metallic chain trim.
According to reports, McCartney has complained about the “poorly-made” copy of her own design, for which she has design patent protection, in documents filed by her lawyers. Stella McCartney’s high-end Falabella is made of faux leather, as part of the designer’s sustainable philosophy. It was first released in 2009 and has since been seen on the arms of numerous celebrities including Kate Hudson, Charlize Theron, and Rihanna. Available in different sizes and designs, a regular Falabella comes with a £680 price tag (or £1,230 if you opt for fringing), whilst Steve Madden’s BTotally retails at around £70.
Customer reviews of the BTotally on the Steve Madden website highlight the poor quality of the bag. Worried that the design similarities between both bags might cause confusion amongst customers, McCartney wants to put a stop to sales of BTotally, as well as seeking compensation for any financial damage it might have incurred her company as a result of loss of sales.
Steve Madden has previously been embroiled in similar cases: luxury fashion houses Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga have both filed lawsuits against the American footwear label for copying their designs (the latter having done so on two occasions).
Surely, it’s high time the Steve Madden label learnt its lesson this time?