Alexander McQueen has accused Steven Madden Ltd. of trade dress infringement for drawing perhaps too faithful a line from the designer’s own Faithful bootie.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Oct. 1, McQueen’s Autumnpaper Ltd. alleges that Steven Madden’s Seryna bootie is a knockoff of the Faithful design.
The McQueen shoe debuted in January and is described in the suit as a black leather, open-toe stiletto ankle boot inspired by the motorcycle jacket. The complaint alleges that the Steven Madden model is a “studied imitation” that reproduces all those elements in the same manner.
“In fact, the only design element of the ‘Faithful Bootie’ that Madden did not deliberately copy is the zipper pull that contains the ‘Alexander McQueen’ trademark,” the designer’s lawyers wrote.
The suit says McQueen’s shoe has earned distinction in part through “widespread media attention” and has been photographed on the feet of Lindsay Lohan, Mary-Kate Olsen and Rihanna. McQueen alleges that Steven Madden has intent to trade on the popularity of the design and its commercial strength.
McQueen’s attorneys wrote that they sent a cease and desist letter to the Madden company in September, but that it has refused to comply. Steven Madden did not return a call seeking comment.
McQueen is seeking an injunction barring Steven Madden from selling items that infringe on its trade dress, profits realized by any wrongful acts plus interest, delivery of any infringing goods for destruction, legal fees and other relief.