Ivanka Trump Ordered to Give Deposition in Shoe Design Lawsuit
Italian shoe brand Aquazzura filed a lawsuit last year against the first daughter's label, claiming that her fringed heel copied the "Wild Thing" sandal.
Ivanka Trump has been ordered to give a deposition in a lawsuit that claims her namesake brand's "Hettie" sandal allegedly copied Aquazzura's "Wild Thing" heel.
In June 2016, the Italian shoe label filed a lawsuit in New York's Southern District against Trump, IT Collection LLC and Marc Fisher Holdings LLC, the manufacturer of her shoe line, claiming that Ivanka's fringed heel ripped off Aquazzura's copyrighted design.
Ivanka filed a response at the time, writing that she "denies that she has engaged in any acts of infringement of Plaintiff’s purported trade dress, unfair competition or deceptive trade practices, and lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the remainder of the allegations," and asked the court to dismiss the suit.
The first daughter also claims she had "no involvement in the conception, design, production or sale of the 'Hettie' Shoe," according to court documents. "Instead, such responsibilities belonged to the Company's licensee, Marc Fisher." Her lawyers have also said that ordering her to give a deposition "would be an unnecessary distraction and would interfere with her ability to perform her duties at the White House," according to CNNMoney.
She currently serves as an unpaid adviser with the official title of assistant to the president after stepping down from her company in January and appointing Abigail Klem as the brand's new president.
However, U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest, who's overseeing the case, rules that it's necessary for Ivanka to give a deposition because she served as an executive at the time and had a "high-level, authoritative, personal involvement," read a document filed Friday. Forrest states that the deposition must be limited to two hours and held in Washington, D.C., where Ivanka currently lives with her family. It should also be done by October, said Forrest.
Ivanka's company declined to comment on the news.
Aquazzura designer Edgardo Osario, who founded his company in 2011, took to Instagram last April to point out the similarities between the shoe designs.
"One of the most disturbing things in the fashion industry is when someone blatantly steals your copyright designs and doesn't care," he captioned a side-by-side image of the two heels. "You should know better. Shame on you @ivankatrump! Imitation is NOT the most sincere form of flattery."
Despite Ivanka's new role in the White House, she appeared on Fox & Friends Monday morning, stating, "I try to stay out of politics." She added: "I instead like to focus on areas where I can add positive value, where I can contribute to the agenda."