Charles Philip Shanghai filed court documents yesterday in Los Angeles asking GAP to stop manufacturing and selling their look-a-like “Phillip” loafer collection. The shoes in question bare a marked resemblance to the iconic loafers created by Charles Philip Shanghai that have become a favorite of A-list celebrities like Rihanna and Jessica Alba.
“It’s more than one shoe,” said Andrea Bates, a lawyer for Charles Philip Shanghai, in a public statement about the case. “It’s the entire collection.”
Bates went on to add that many consumers familiar with her clients shoe designs could think that Charles Philip Shanghai had collaborated with GAP to create the “Phillip” collection. The court papers filed by Charles Philip Shanghai states that the similarities between the two collections “has caused or is likely to cause consumer confusion.” Charles Philip Shanghai is asking for compensation from the GAP and demanding they cease making or selling the “Phillip” shoes.
Charles Philip Shanghai loafers and slippers can be found in fine department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman among others. They retail from $135 to $200. The GAP Phillip collection retails for $39.95.
As of this morning as news of the lawsuit hit the headlines GAP briefly marked the “Phillip” collection shoes as “Out of stock” on their website. The shoes are back up for sale online and were not pulled from stores, though they appear to have the word “Phillip” and the jaunty Philip style inner stripes, altered from the originals. The company has made no public comment about the lawsuit.
This is not the first time the retail giant has been accused of stealing designs. Judas Priest sued the company this past summer for using their copyrighted artwork on a children’s t-shirt. Kim Kardashian sued Old Navy, which is owned by parent company GAP Inc, for using a counterfeit (kounterfeit?) Kardashian looking model in their advertising the summer before. The reality star and GAP Inc reached a settlement after the company aggressively began looking into Kardashian’s business dealings with other retailers. The terms of the settlement were not made public.
With designer shoes recently outpacing the demand for designer handbags as most coveted consumer accessory knock-off footwear is becoming an increasing problem. Famed French designer Christian Louboutin recently launched an online campaign to educate his clients about how to be sure they were buying authentic designer shoes. Louboutin has famously sued even fellow designers like Yves Saint Laurent for allegedly copying his iconic red soled designs.
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