Ivanka Trump’s People Say They Didn’t Copy Derek Lam’s ShoesWell that was fast. Just one day after designer Derek Lam accused licensing machine Ivanka Trump of “perfectly” copying one of his shoe designs, her people have already fired back at the accusation — and Lam’s cease and desist letter.
A representative of Marc Fisher, the licensee that produces Trump’s line of shoes, told Women’s Wear Daily that it didn’t mean to copy Lam’s $780 wedge sandal — it just wanted to make a wedge sandal. And according to the company, it’s hard to make one that doesn’t look like all the other wedge sandals out there on the market.
“The Lam wedge sandals are of a popular design type that has been used by numerous manufacturers for many decades. There is nothing iconic about the appearance of the Lam sandal … The Ivanka Trump sandals prominently display the Ivanka Trump name, and there can be no confusion as to the source of the Ivanka Trump sandals. Therefore, Marc Fisher Footwear, the licensee of the Ivanka Trump brand, strongly denies Lam’s claims.”
Marc Fisher can deny the claims all they want to, but that doesn’t mean the case is just going to go away. When you look at the shoes side by side, they look exactly alike: the wedges are made of similarly stacked wood, there are five straps over the heel that connect to a black ankle strap, and the three straps over the toes are loosely braided together. That’s not a description that fits all wedge sandals on the market, but it fits both of these to a T.
We’re not saying Ivanka copied the shoe — Lam’s CEO Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann said yesterday that he was certain “Ms. Trump doesn’t know her wedge is copy because it’s through a license.” What we are saying is that these shoes are virtually the same thing, right down to the number and placement of their various straps. Copy or no, intentional or otherwise, this case is not going to go away easily.