Ivanka Trump forced to deny claims that she "copied" Derek Lam shoe design

Ivanka Trump forced to deny claims that shoe from her line was “blatantly and intentionally copied” from Derek Lam design

Ivanka Trump

Legal action: Ivanka Trump”s footwear label has been accused of copying a Derek Lam design

Ivanka Trump is facing legal action after she was accused of copying a sandal design by Derek Lam.

The high-end label says that the 30-year-old heiress “blatantly and intentionally copied” its Ayami wedge, $780.

It argues that by selling her similar-looking Cadie design at just $150 will affect its sales.

Derek Lam yesterday sent both Ivanka Trump Footwear and its licensee, Marc Fisher Footwear, a cease and desist letter, giving them seven days to remove the shoe from sale.

Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann, chief executive officer of Derek Lam, told WWD yesterday: “We have seen very similar copies before but we have never seen a shoe that perfectly copied.

“It’s such an investment to make a shoe… we had to protest this.”

He told how the Ivanka Trump “copy” was initially spotted by a designer at the Derek Lam studio who had been shopping on the Bloomingdales website.

Mr Schlottmann added that blame for the likeness between the two shoes is unlikely to fall to Ms Trump.

“I’m sure Ms Trump doesn’t know her wedge is copy because it’s through a license,” he explained.

But in a statement released to People.com today, Marc Fisher Footwear defended itself against the claims.

It said: “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.”

It added: “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.”

Derek Lam Ivanka Trump

Creative copyright issue: Derek Lam, the label behind the high-end Ayami wedge, $780 (left), believes Ivanka Trump”s $150 Cadie shoe (right) was “blatantly and intentionally copied”

Despite denying the claims, it appears Marc Fisher may have already taken some action: the design is no longer available to buy on the Ivanka Trump website, and a pair which Mr Schlottmann ordered from the Bloomingdales site, to assess the likeness, is yet to arrive.

The issue of creative copyright is a sensitive one for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which is working towards helping its members better protect their designs from cut-price replicas.

Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA said earlier this year: “All designers deserve the right to design protection and only the creator of an original design should profit from that design.

“Taking someone’s work and calling it your own is wrong and robs the designer of a rightful return of their investment.”