Ivanka Trump, daughter of the nation’s president, is facing some legal troubles in her business ventures. There is a lawsuit against her shoe line alleging she copied several designs, and a tax warrant against her jewelry line for unpaid sales taxes.
Aquazzura, an Italian luxury shoe label, is suing Trump’s “IT Collection” for copying its designs. The specific shoe design cited in court papers is called “Wild Thing”. It is a high heel fashion sandal with a red suede tassel and sells for $785. The Trump knock off for this design is called “Hettie” and sells for $145. In the lawsuit, Aquazzura claims to have previously complained to Trump about two other shoe styles that were copies of their design.
Trump and her co-defendant, licensee Marc Fisher Footwear Company, are accused of “repeated infringement” and “deceptive trade practices.” Aquazzura is requesting a court injunction to stop Trump from selling the shoes, a detailed account of her profits, and damages and attorneys’ fees. In court papers they state, “Seeking the same success Aquazzura experienced but without having to put in the hard creative work, defendants resorted to knocking off plaintiff’s popular designs.”
Matthew Burris, CFO of Marc Fisher Company, said in a statement that “the lawsuit is without merit.” He also said the shoe model named in the lawsuit “is representative of a trending fashion style, is not subject to intellectual property law protection, and there are similar styles made by several major brands.” He concluded, “We will vigorously defend ourselves against the claim.”
About another business venture, USA Today reports that the New York Department of Taxation and Finance filed a tax warrant against Madison Avenue Diamonds LLC, which was doing business as Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry. The company owes over $5,000, not having paid sales tax for jewelry sold in August and November, 2015 and February 2016. If the company does not pay, additional interest and penalties could be added.
The president of Ivanka Trump Brands denied Trump responsibility for the tax debt, saying in a statement, “This situation involves an independent licensee of Ivanka Trump Brands and has absolutely nothing to do with her company.”