Pret-a-Reporter

Chanel Issues Apology for Copying Fair Isle Knitwear Design

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel's Métiers d’ Art show in Rome.

"Chanel recognizes that this situation resulted from a dysfunctionality within its teams, and has presented its apologies."

Following the settlement this week of the accusation from Scottish knitwear designer Mati Ventrillon that Chanel plagiarized her patterns for their Métiers d’ Art show in Rome last month, the French fashion house has issued a public apology.

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As reported by WWD, two design team members from Chanel visited the French-Venezuelan designer in Fair Isle, Scotland, earlier this year for research purposes. They even purchased two of her sweaters. Ventrillon took to Facebook following the fashion house’s latest show claiming that two of her intarsia sweater designs were seen on the runway. She wrote, "Endorsement or plagiarism? Earlier this summer two Chanel staff visited Fair Isle and bought some of my stock garments with the understanding that the garments were for research, I specifically said that I was going to sell it to them for the reputation of Chanel house and because I would not expect them to copy my design … little [did] I know."

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To settle the score, Chanel will credit the designer on the sweaters’ labels. A spokeswoman from Chanel issued a respectful apology to the designer, saying, "Chanel recognizes that this situation resulted from a dysfunctionality within its teams, and has presented its apologies. Chanel also recognizes the heritage and know-how of Fair Isle. We wish to emphasize that the house is extremely vigilant in terms of its respect for creativity, whether its own or that of others."

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