How Far Is Too Far When It Comes To Designer Knockoffs?

Leave Alexander McQueen alone! Sheesh, can’t the guy get a break? First Lady Gaga had to mess up his Fashion Week glory; now Steve Madden is all up in his face. The reason? McQueen is suing the affordable shoe company for copying the design for his “Faithful” bootie, a sexy open-toed number with leather snap-flaps and a stiletto heel. According to WWD, “the complaint alleges that the Steven Madden model is a ‘studied imitation’ that reproduces all those elements in the same manner.” OK, we get it: Madden made a knockoff, but isn’t that what their business is about? If they’ve been copying trends for so long, should it really matter now?

We do get the moral principle of copyright infringement (clearly); however, we do have to wonder how much of McQueen’s sales were really impacted by Madden’s cheaper model. Are Steve Madden customers really the type who would, or even could (uh, we can’t), buy the high-end version? [WWD]

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