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Balenciaga sues Steve Madden over a bag design copy

Madden's Btalia bag is claimed to closely resemble Balenciaga's Motorcyle bag

By Andrea Tim | Published: 30 May 2014

Madden in trouble
Photo: (L-R) Balenciaga's Motorcycle bag, Steve Madden's Btalia bag

Ah, what's the fashion world without the occasional court case? French fashion house Balenciaga is suing Steve Madden (again), this time for allegedly violating Balenciaga's trade dress and selling a cheaper version of the latter's Motorcycle bag.

"The flat pouch with a zippered rectangular closure, a zipper pull consisting of a strip centrally-knotted and hanging in two equal lengths, and a semi-elliptical patch outfitted with two raised studs in each corner; and two identical patches in an elongated pentagonal shape, featuring an elongated hexagonal patch outfitted with a buckle and two raised studs," according to The Fashion Law, is stated in Balenciaga's trade dress registered in 2007, which also covers the Motorcycle bag.

Balanciaga's complaint against Steve Madden claims that the American label's Btalia satchel, which is sold for less than $90, bears a huge resemblance to the Motorcycle bag. The Btalia may deceive consumers into thinking that it was designed by Balenciaga's then creative director Nicolas Ghesquière when it is not.

This is not Steve Madden's first lawsuit with Balenciaga. In 2009, Steve Madden was sued for a similar infringement of Balenciaga's Lego shoe. Both parties came to a settlement after two years. The footwear company's trade dress-violating notoriety extends to Alexander McQueen's realm, too. McQueen had in 2009 requested for the footwear company to stop making and selling a "studied imitation" of one of McQueen's boot designs, to which Madden responded "I'm sure they were alike. Yeah, of course they were. We see millions of shoes. We are influenced by everything that goes on."


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