Mansur Gavriel responds to Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s copyright allegations

New York – It’s commonplace in the fashion industry for people to play copycat,
however, it’s another when a designer is flat out accusing another brand or
designer of copying their aesthetic completely. Last week during the peak
of NYFW, designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh caused quite the controversy
throughout the fashion industry when she accused Mansur Gavriel of copying
her designs. The designer has alleged that the brand has created a direct
copy of her mule sandal.

Nassir Zadeh didn’t take this quietly either. She took to Instagram to
voice her concerns over the shoes. She has posted several articles
discussing how Mansur Gavriel copied her designs, thanking every fashion
reporter who helped her call out Mansur Gavriel for their similar designs.

In September 2015, Mansur Gavriel launched their first shoe collection
featuring seemingly exact replicas of Maryam’s hallmark mule and slide
designs in colors identical to Maryam’s Spring 2015 collection that was
released one year ago,” Nassir Zadeh’s representative said in a statement
released on Wednesday, September 16.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh and Mansur Gavriel embroiled in copyright

Nassir Zadeh not only pointed out similarities in Mansur Gavriel’s shoe
designs, but she also alleges they copied her signature colors of lemon,
cobalt, and watermelon. She has still declined to state whether or not she
will take legal action against the company.

After Mansur Gavriel unveiled their shoes, Nassir Zadeh went back into her
companies archives and found several receipts from March, April, and May of
this year proving that Rachel Mansur of Mansur Gavriel purchased several
pairs of her shoes. She also found a much earlier purchase from Floriana
Gavriel dating back to 2014.

Mansur Gavriel had spent the past week declining to comment on the
situation, but today they finally released a statement to Business of
Fashion: “Recently it has come to our attention that fellow New York City brand
Maryam Nassir Zadeh is claiming similarities between her designs and our
newly launched Spring/Summer 2016 shoe collection. This deeply saddens us
as any similarity is completely coincidental. Our line has been developed
and designed over a period of 18 months, drawing inspiration from classic
shoe silhouettes and the iconic colours and materials of our handbag

Mansur Gavriel was founded in 2012 with a dedication to providing clean,
classic handbag designs crafted in the highest quality Italian leathers. “It
is our design philosophy and concept to concentrate on a few classical
shapes in a wide array of colours and materials. That same philosophy
guided us in designing our shoe collection which consists of 4 styles, 5
heel heights, 2 fabrications and 16 colours, resulting in 320 SKUs.” The
colours selected for this collection all tie back to the interior and
exterior colours of our core handbag collection, which has been on the
market since June 2013.

“We respect Maryam Nassir Zadeh as a designer and retailer, and are
customers of her store. However, we believe that neither she nor we can
claim ownership of a mule or slide or block heel or colour, for that
matter. We are well aware of rampant imitation of young designers in the
marketplace and have personally experienced this many times. However, we
are also well aware we do not own the silhouette of the bucket bag or the

For Nassir Zadeh, the likelihood of her winning a lawsuit against Mansur
Gavriel is unlikely. Copyright laws don’t protect functional apparel like
shoes, and unless she can prove the colors are part of trademark, like
Louboutin’s red soles, she doesn’t have much of a case against them. Right
now, the best Nassir Zadeh has got is Instagram.

Given Mansur Gavriel’s successful retail status with department stores,
many in the fashion industry will most likely just ignore Nassir Zadeh’s
claims and proceed with business as usual. A representative for Mansur
Gavriel nor Nassir Zadeh was available for immediate comment.
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