Guess‘s chief executive officer Paul Marciano took the stand Wednesday to defend his company against Gucci‘s copyright infringement lawsuit. The Italian house is suing the mall-friendly retailer for copying several design elements and for selling $221 million worth of Gucci-like goods.
Gucci claimed that Guess copied their red and green stripes, “G” logo, and diamond pattern. Of course, Marciano denied those claims, but admitted that his company took inspiration from different brands, one of which being Gucci:
“This kind of pattern is common in the world of fashion and it’s not particular to Gucci. What I understand here, which is very frequent [in fashion], is an inspiration to create an original bag of G’s with the same components. That’s what design is.”
But Gucci’s lawyer Louis Ederer referenced emails between Guess and footwear manufacturer Marc Fisher that indicated that they intended to copy Gucci’s patterns for shoes. The shoes in question (pictured below) are indeed a blatant ripoff, and even Marciano was “embarrassed” by the similarities between the two items. Ederer also showed previous cease-and-desist letters from Coach, Jimmy Choo, Yves Saint Laurent, and Adidas for copying their designs. Does Guess design anything on its own?
Marciano ceded that his brand has been “inspired” by others since 1995, but if Gucci was so hot and bothered by the issue, they should have brought it up earlier:
“I’m not happy about it. I think the lawsuit is wrong. I truly believe that if this is something Gucci was genuinely concerned with, they would have acted within days, everywhere. Are you telling me today that suddenly you realize what’s happened in 1995?”
So, Marciano went to court and admitted that his company copies everyone’s designs? That’s one way to win.