Converse suing Steve Madden over sneaker design

Converse is suing Steve Madden for allegedly infringing upon the brand’s Run Star Hike sneaker design.Lawyers acting on behalf of the shoe company have accused the team at Steven Madden Ltd. of copying a creation that debuted back in September 2018 a…

Converse is suing Steve Madden for allegedly infringing upon the brand’s Run Star Hike sneaker design.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the shoe company have accused the team at Steven Madden Ltd. of copying a creation that debuted back in September 2018 at London Fashion Week, and went on sale in the U.S. in February last year.

The sneakers feature a chunky platform and jagged rubber sole, and according to Converse bosses, they’re an “unexpected twist” on the brand’s iconic Chuck Taylor sneakers.

“Converse is a leading producer of original sneaker designs. One of its unique designs is the Run Star Hike. Steve Madden also sells sneakers, but instead of innovating its own designs, it often copies others,” the lawsuit, filed at the Massachusetts District Court, reads. “Steve Madden recently started selling sneakers that copy Converse’s unique Run Star Hike design.”

According to Converse’s legal team, Steve Madden has released “multiple shoes” that infringe upon its patents, including the Madden Girl Winnona Flatform High-Top, as well as the Steve Madden Shark sneaker.

The label holds two patents for the Run Star Hike design, which they claim are “integral to Converse’s success moving forward”.

The filing also stated that the firm had sent multiple requests to Madden since March, demanding that the brand “immediately stop infringing” on their designs, but the designer has reportedly refused their requests.

Converse executives are seeking monetary damages.

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Steve Madden apologises to Stacey Bendet after rant goes viral

Steve Madden has issued an apology to Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet for losing his temper during a filmed altercation earlier this week. On Monday, the 41-year-old took to Instagram to upload a video of her encounter with the footwear entrepre…

Steve Madden has issued an apology to Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet for losing his temper during a filmed altercation earlier this week.

On Monday, the 41-year-old took to Instagram to upload a video of her encounter with the footwear entrepreneur in a hotel lobby, with the footage showing them having a heated exchange in which Madden tells her to “go f**k yourself” when she confronts him about allegedly stealing her brand’s designs. He also returned the accusation by saying, “You copy people all the time. We were making faces way before you.”

The allegations relate to a lawsuit Alice + Olivia lawyers filed against Betsey Johnson, which is owned by Madden’s company, in late 2018 for allegedly copying their StaceFace design. Both parties reached a confidential settlement in June last year.

Madden has now apologised for his outburst by issuing a statement to New York Post’s Page Six.

“I’m sorry for losing my temper with Stacey. I have the utmost respect for her… I was raised better than that,” he said.

Bendet took to her personal Facebook page to suggest Madden follow up his apology with a $1 million (£776,000) donation to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

“I feel like his ‘apology’ should really include a 1 million dollar donation to the CFDA to create a legal protection fund for designers when their work is copied or trademarks are violated,” she wrote.

She also announced she was setting up an initiative to help women through the sale of her Stace products, which feature the face of a woman with round sunglasses, a top knot, and red lips.

“In the near future, I will announce a #Stace initiative where our Stace product (no longer being copied by any of the Steve Madden brands) will be sold to support programs that support women who don’t have the platform that I am so grateful to have,” she wrote on the Alice + Olivia Instagram account, before asking for suggestions for organisations to support.

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Alice + Olivia’s Stacey Bendet slams Steve Madden for allegedly copying designs

Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet has blasted Steve Madden for allegedly copying one of her handbag designs.On Monday, the 41-year-old took to Instagram to upload a video of an encounter in a hotel lobby between herself and the footwear entrepreneu…

Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet has blasted Steve Madden for allegedly copying one of her handbag designs.

On Monday, the 41-year-old took to Instagram to upload a video of an encounter in a hotel lobby between herself and the footwear entrepreneur.

Bendet began filming the conversation on her phone, with Madden heard saying, “Honey, if you’re going to be rude you can go f**k yourself.”

She replied, “Yeah? You said if I’m not copying people, I’m not doing a good job? That was you.”

“You can go f**k yourself. Okay. You copy people all the time,” the 62-year-old fired back, to which Bendet responded: “I have it trademarked branded Stace.”

In the caption of the now-deleted post, the fashion star claimed she saw Madden “lose his temper and become aggressive using vulger (sic) language” while she was stood with her four-year-old daughter.

“I am sharing this because his behaviour is not acceptable in business or life – he could have apologised or showed some remorse – but no, he responds with intimidation – we can’t stop bullies unless we stand up to them!!!” Bendet wrote, adding that she usually fills her feed with “positivity, female empowerment”.

The designer later made a statement on her Instagram Stories, and thanked her fans and followers for showing support after her encounter.

“And you know in truth as a person I think he just showed his true colours, which is like full-on pig,” she fired.

The feud was ignited in December 2018 when lawyers for Alice + Olivia sued Betsey Johnson, owned by the Steve Madden parent company, for copyright infringement after allegedly imitating the StaceFace bag, which features the image of a woman wearing round sunglasses and red lipstick. They reached a confidential settlement in June last year.

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Steve Madden credits stint in prison for reviving his career

Steve Madden is thankful for his stint in prison as he believes it revived his career.In April 2002, the shoe designer was sentenced to 41 months in prison for cheating investors in a stock fraud scheme headed by Jordan Belfort, with the story included…

Steve Madden is thankful for his stint in prison as he believes it revived his career.

In April 2002, the shoe designer was sentenced to 41 months in prison for cheating investors in a stock fraud scheme headed by Jordan Belfort, with the story included as part of Martin Scorsese’s 2014 film, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Madden was released in 2005 after serving 31 months, and in a new interview with Footwear News, explained that his jail time has benefitted his career.

“When I got out of prison, it was a moment with a lot of energy and a whole lot of grit. It took the company to another level,” the 61-year-old stated. “Bet you don’t hear that a lot, right?”

And Madden, who was inducted into the Footwear News Hall of Fame at the recent 2019 FN Achievement Awards, is looking forward to celebrating the 30th anniversary of his namesake brand next year.

“It’s great now. I’m having a lot of fun,” he insisted. “I’m having more fun now, actually. I feel physically, mentally and spiritually in the best shape of my life. It’s the best I’ve ever felt.”

Madden began his shoe label back in 1990, and in the chat, acknowledged how lucky he was that his business took off so quickly.

“Yes, I was hard-working and talented, but I was a lucky guy. And it may not have been enough if I didn’t have luck,” he confessed.

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Winnie Harlow: ‘I’ve been wearing Steve Madden shoes since childhood’

Winnie Harlow decided to collaborate with Steve Madden on a shoe collection because she wore his designs throughout her childhood. The Canadian model unveiled the collection she created with designers at the footwear giant, founded by Steve Madden in 1…

Winnie Harlow decided to collaborate with Steve Madden on a shoe collection because she wore his designs throughout her childhood.

The Canadian model unveiled the collection she created with designers at the footwear giant, founded by Steve Madden in 1990, earlier this week and shared snaps on her Instagram page showing her posing in the shoes in a photoshoot led by famed photographer Steven Klein.

In a new interview with Us Weekly, the 25-year-old explained that the collaboration was the perfect fit because she has been a longtime fan of the Steve Madden brand.

“I’ve been wearing Steve Madden shoes my whole childhood. With this collaboration I wanted it to speak to where I came from and the people in my life who helped me get where I am,” she said, while Madden added: “We were with Winnie when she was 12 and Winnie when she was 15 and when she graduated high school. So, we have that association, even though we didn’t know each other.”

To pay homage to their long-running connection, some of the shoes in her collection are recreations of what Harlow used to wear when she was younger and are named after people close to her.

“I was really excited to just have freedom in creating shoes that I really wanted to wear,” the fashion star continued. “Obviously as a model, I’ve worn so many shoes – I’ve done the runway for different events and red carpets – and sometimes there’s just certain things about a shoe that I absolutely love but there’s something I would change.”

Her favourite shoes are the knee-length Harlow boots, which come in red or yellow snakeskin-like fabric or black crocodile-look designs, the Tina stiletto ankle boots, the LisaLove chunky ankle boots, the Princess pointed heels, the Badgirl strappy sandals, and the Glorey and All Now sneakers. The collection, which ranges in price between $90 (£72) and $160 (£128), is available to buy from the Steve Madden website.

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Steve Madden buys women’s clothing brand BB Dakota

Steve Madden is continuing its buying spree with the acquisition of women’s clothing company BB Dakota.Executives at the New York-based footwear and accessories company, founded by designer and businessman Steve Madden in 1990, announced on Monday that…

Steve Madden is continuing its buying spree with the acquisition of women’s clothing company BB Dakota.

Executives at the New York-based footwear and accessories company, founded by designer and businessman Steve Madden in 1990, announced on Monday that they had completed a deal to purchase sneaker brand Greats, and they followed it up on Tuesday by confirming they had also acquired BB Dakota.

“BB Dakota is so in tune with the Steve Madden girl. I always thought it would be great to combine forces, and now that dream has come true. It’s a perfect match,” Madden said in a statement, while the company’s chief executive Edward Rosenfeld added, “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of BB Dakota, an apparel company known for its consistently on-trend designs. With its laser focus on product and strong track record of execution, we believe BB Dakota is a great fit for Steve Madden and provides the ideal platform to expand our brands in the apparel category.”

BB Dakota, which was founded in 2005 by Gloria Brandes, is based in California and known for “stylish classics with an effortless attitude”. The company, which owns brands BB Dakota and Jack by BB Dakota as well as licensed label Cupcakes and Cashmere, had net sales of an estimated $43 million (£36 million) in the 12 months ending 30 June.

“We are tremendously excited by this dynamic partnership that will serve to jump-start the Steve Madden apparel segment of this strong company and we plan to take full advantage of this opportunity for growth,” Brandes said.

Steve Madden also markets products under its own brands including Dolce Vita, Betsey Johnson, Blondo, Report, Brian Atwood, Cejon, Mad Love, and Big Buddha.

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Steve Madden buys sneaker brand Greats

Steve Madden has acquired premium sneaker brand Greats.Executives at the New York-based footwear and accessories company, founded by designer and businessman Steve Madden in 1990, announced on Monday that they had completed a deal to purchase Greats, t…

Steve Madden has acquired premium sneaker brand Greats.

Executives at the New York-based footwear and accessories company, founded by designer and businessman Steve Madden in 1990, announced on Monday that they had completed a deal to purchase Greats, the shoe label launched by Ryan Babenzein in Brooklyn back in 2014.

Regarding the acquisition, Madden said in a statement that he was a big fan of Babenzein’s product.

“Rarely in my 30 years since I started Steve Madden have I come across an opportunity as exciting as this. Ryan’s shoes are the talk among all the millennial men I encounter. He reminds me so much of myself. We can’t wait to explode this thing,” he commented, while Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and chief executive officer of Steve Madden, added: “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Greats, a pioneering digitally native footwear brand. We see significant opportunity to expand the business by combining Greats’ strengths – which include an outstanding brand and stylish, classic designs that appeal to today’s more casual consumer – with our proven business model, established infrastructure and global reach.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, however, it was noted that Greats had net sales in the 12 months ending 30 June of approximately $13 million (£10.7 million).

Greats is known for its timeless yet aspirational and versatile styles, with the majority of products sold direct-to-consumer on the brand’s website as well as in a flagship retail store.

Accordingly, Babenzein shared that he was thrilled to have partnered with Madden, whom he considers to be a “true maverick” in the footwear industry.

“Getting the chance to collaborate with and learn from Steve and the rest of the Madden Company to accelerate my business is something that made a tonne of sense to me. My goal has been the same since I started Greats, and that is to create one of the leading footwear brands in the world. This partnership is another chapter in the Greats book to help accomplish that and I couldn’t be happier,” he shared.

Steve Madden also markets products under its own brands including Dolce Vita, Betsey Johnson, Blondo, Report, Brian Atwood, Cejon, Mad Love, and Big Buddha.

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Steve Madden and YSL settle legal battle

Steve Madden and Yves Saint Laurent have settled their lawsuit out of court.The legal wrangling kicked off in August when footwear designer Madden accused the French label of trying to “stifle legitimate competition” by threatening to sue Madden and “a…

Steve Madden and Yves Saint Laurent have settled their lawsuit out of court.

The legal wrangling kicked off in August when footwear designer Madden accused the French label of trying to “stifle legitimate competition” by threatening to sue Madden and “at least 13” retailers who sell the brand’s Sicily sandal, claiming that the flats resemble its popular Tribute platform style.

The warring brands have now come to an agreement, with Footwear News reporting Steve Madden and YSL bosses have jointly filed to voluntarily dismiss the case in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The decision to settle came less than two weeks after U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni tossed out two of YSL’s counterclaims against the retailer.

In the original complaint, Madden called the issue “absurd and frivolous”. He also pointed out that the two styles were markedly different in appearance.

“Madden’s Sicily flat sandal design is so distinct from the high-heeled platform shoe design claimed in the (Tribute) patent such that no ordinary observer, even unaware of prior high-heeled platform shoe designs, could possibly be deceived into thinking that the Sicily flat sandal design was the same as the high-heeled platform shoe design in (YSL’s) patent,” the lawsuit stated.

YSL had sent cease-and-desist letters to at least 13 Steve Madden vendors, including Dillard’s, DSW, Walmart and Zappos. Some went as far as pulling the sandal and asked the Steve Madden brand to reclaim their unsold inventory.

Steve Madden has also faced copycat lawsuits from the likes of Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga in the past.

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Betsey Johnson sued for copyright infringement by Alice + Olivia

Betsey Johnson is being sued for copyright infringement by Alice + Olivia, after allegedly copying the brand’s ‘StaceFace’ on her handbag line.The New York City-based company initially sent Johnson and parent company Steve Madden a cease-and-desist let…

Betsey Johnson is being sued for copyright infringement by Alice + Olivia, after allegedly copying the brand’s ‘StaceFace’ on her handbag line.

The New York City-based company initially sent Johnson and parent company Steve Madden a cease-and-desist letter in February (18), requesting that she stop using the image which is “virtually identical” to the design inspired by Alice + Olivia founder Stacey Bendet, of a woman wearing round sunglasses and sporting red lipstick.

Alice + Olivia claim that the Johnson bags were so “unmistakably similar that the blatant replication compelled the conclusion that the defendants intentionally copied the StaceFace designs to foster confusion and to deceive consumers into believing that the customers were purchasing products originating from A+O.”

In a newly-filed copyright, trademark, and trade dress infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition lawsuit, Alice + Olivia claim that after sending the cease-and-desist, they came to an agreement with Johnson, with the “defendants agreeing to stop the manufacture and sale of the products” in March.

However, despite the resolution, Johnson is accused of continuing to use the image in other products. Citing an example from September, Alice + Olivia state that she merely changed the round sunglasses to heart shaped ones, rather than ceasing use of StaceFace all together.

“Minor changes to the defendants’ product (such as changing round glasses to heart shape) do not negate a likelihood of confusion,” the brand’s counsel argue in the papers.

In an email from Madden to Alice + Olivia, they stated that the bag described in the filing “must be part of stock remainders that have made their way through the retail channels”, as they have stopped manufacturing and selling goods with the face on them.

Alice + Olivia is seeking an injunction preventing Johnson from all future use of the StaceFace design, and financial compensation, alleging that Johnson’s “willful and wonton acts (sic) and conduct” have damaged their brand’s “reputation and goodwill”.

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Steve Madden sues Yves Saint Laurent over shoe design

Steve Madden is suing Yves Saint Laurent in relation to the sale of a shoe design.Legal representatives for the U.S. footwear company, founded by designer and entrepreneur Steve Madden in 1990, filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court on Monday (20A…

Steve Madden is suing Yves Saint Laurent in relation to the sale of a shoe design.

Legal representatives for the U.S. footwear company, founded by designer and entrepreneur Steve Madden in 1990, filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court on Monday (20Aug18).

According to Footwear News, the documents accuse executives at French luxury label Saint Laurent of trying to “stifle legitimate competition” by threatening to sue Madden and “at least 13” retailers who sell the brand’s Sicily sandal, claiming that the flats resemble its popular Tribute platform high heel style.

Saint Laurent lawyers maintain they have the patent for the Tribute style, a favourite among celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Olivia Palermo, as well as the patent for any flat versions.

Responding Saint Laurent’s cease-and-desist letters, Madden’s lawyers asserted that the allegations were “absurd” and that no customer would confuse the two styles because the Sicily design is flat and does not feature the Tribute’s platform, buckle or strap.

Representatives for Saint Laurent have not yet commented on the lawsuit. However, a Madden spokesperson told Footwear News that they were taking the claims seriously.

“But when it and especially its customers are faced with a baseless accusation that includes a clearly inapplicable patent, Steve Madden will not hesitate to defend itself and its customers to the fullest extent of the law,” they said.

Madden’s lawyers have asked the court to declare that the Sicily sandal is not similar to the Tribute design and that it does not infringe on Saint Laurent’s trade dress rights.

The case is not the only legal battle Madden is currently involved in; the company is also being sued by Cult Gaia over alleged similarities between its bamboo Ark bag and Madden’s BShipper style.

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