Versace Sues Fashion Nova For Knocking Off Famous Jennifer Lopez ‘Jungle’ Dress

Jennifer Lopez walks the runway at the Versace show during the Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 in September.

Topline: Italian fashion house Versace sued Fashion Nova, a fast fashion retailer, in California Monday for allegedly copying some of its most popular designs, including the iconic green “Jungle” dress famously worn by Jennifer Lopez at the 2000 Grammy Awards.

  • Versace’s 35-page complaint, filed Monday in California’s U.S. district court, seeks a jury trial to stop Fashion Nova from selling the offending clothes and asks to be paid attorney’s fees and other damages.
  • Besides the Jennifer Lopez “Jungle” dress the complaint alleges Fashion Nova copied its multicolored “Pop Heart” and black and gold “Barocco” print designs in other dresses.
  • Versace says it owns the copyrights and trademarks for the designs Fashion Nova allegedly replicated, which will “confuse and mislead” customers of the haute couture brand.
  • In addition, the complaint accuses Fashion Nova of tagging its Web pages selling the offending designs with the Versace name and other trademarked words to boost its visibility on search engines and on social media.
  • The complaint also says Fashion Nova is able to rapidly create so many new designs because of “its willingness to copy the copyrighted designs, trademarks and trade dress elements of well-known designers such as Versace.”
  • This is not the first time Fashion Nova has been blasted for allegedly copying other designers’ looks⁠—in February, Kim Kardashian called out the company for selling a recreated Thierry Mugler dress after wearing the original to an awards show.
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Representatives for Versace and Fashion Nova did not immediately respond to requests for comment by Forbes.

Crucial quote: “Fashion Nova’s Infringing Apparel is plainly a deliberate effort to exploit the popularity and renown of Versace’s signature designs, and to trade on Versace’s valuable goodwill and business reputation in order to drive profits and sales to line Fashion Nova’s pockets,” the complaint reads.

Surprising fact: Versace released a fast fashion collection in 2011 with H&M.

Key background: Versace, based in Milan, Italy, was founded by namesake Gianni Versace in 1971. In addition to Jennifer Lopez, celebrities like Elton John, Princess Diana, Princess Caroline of Monaco and more have worn the fashion house’s designs. Versace’s parent company is Capri Holdings Ltd., which also owns Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors. Versace was acquired for over $2 billion in 2018, but Capri kept on Donatella Versace as the brand’s creative director.

Tangent: Fast fashion is a hugely popular sector of clothing sales and is projected to generate $44 billion in sales by 2028. Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj devoted an episode to exploring copyright issues and the environmental impact in the manufacturing⁠—and then trashing⁠—of so much inexpensive clothing.

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