Ivanka and the Wild Things: Aquazzura Sues Trump for Shoe Style

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on June 29, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. So why isn't Aquazzura happy that Ivanka Trump allegedly copied its Wild Thing shoes? The Italian shoe designer is suing the daughter of the Donald, and her licensing company Marc Fisher, for knocking off a popular sandal that it claims to have made famous.

Ivanka's shoe is called the Hettie and her licensing company denies that it's an imitation of Aquazzura's slipper. But the Italian shoemaker says that Ivanka's forever flattering them with imitation, and this is not the first time she has been inspired by their signature styles.

Wild Thing

Aquazzura sued Ivanka Trump and Marc Fisher, seeking an injunction barring the sale of the Wild Thing sandal. The plaintiff wants to know how much money Ivanka has made on the shoe, presumably so as to demand appropriate damages, and is seeking discovery on Trump's sales. The lawsuit comes after months of "low-key shaming Ivanka Trump on Instagram," reports the style blog Racked.

Aquazzura's lawsuit claims that Ivanka's Hettie imitates the Wild Thing in almost every detail. "Seeking the same success Aquazzura experienced but without having to put in the hard creative work, defendants resorted to knocking off plaintiff's popular designs," the company argued in its suit. The company argued that it was a young

The shoe in question is a high-heeled sandal with a sort of floppy suede tassel bridging the toe and an ankle strap tie with tassels. It retails for $785 but if you don't have a passion for pricey footwear , you would not necessarily know from looking at it that the Wild Thing is a coveted slipper. Stylistically, it's a cross between a stiletto sandal and a preppy tassel loafer ... and that is a fusion no one needs.

Common Thing

But it seems the ladies love the Wild Thing, as style blog In Their Closet notes. The blog collected images of the many hot bloggers who posted shots of themselves on Instagram rocking Wild Things with everything. Also notable are images of other imitations of the shoe, ranging in price from $32.99 all the way up the hundreds of dollars. That seems to support Ivanka Trump's position that the style is quite common and enjoys no intellectual property protection.

Matthew Burris, CFO of Marc Fisher, dismissed the Aquazzura lawsuit as baseless and an attempt to generate publicity. On behalf of his company and Ivanka's brand, he told reporters, "The shoe in question is representative of a trending fashion style, is not subject to intellectual property law protection and there are similar styles made by several major brands. The lawsuit is without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves against the claim."

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