Are Celebs Knocking Off Real Designers?

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Susan Scafidi was quoted in a New York Post article about small brands using social media platforms to address counterfeit designs.

Take Emily Ratajkowski, the “Blurred Lines” video babe whose bodacious bod was her springboard to superstardom. Her line of skimpy swimwear, called Inamorata, launched this past November, with Ratajkawoski herself as the model.

But it wasn’t long after the suits were unveiled that another designer, Lisa Marie Fernandez, called foul. Two of Ratajkowski’s styles, she claimed, were direct copies of her own. Fernandez filed a lawsuit in New York federal court in November 2017.

The case is still pending (and Inamorata still sells both of the suits in question), but the 26-year-old model and actress has already lost on Instagram, with knockoff-vigilante account @DietPrada calling her out to its 296,000 followers.

Susan Scafidi, the founder of Fordham Law School’s Fashion Law Institute, calls this strategy “name and shame” and says it can be very effective, especially for small brands.

“If you get bitten, and can’t afford the lawyer or the time it would take for a lawsuit, you can take to Instagram,” Scafidi says. “You post the side-by-side comparison and call out your copyist.”

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