Less than two weeks after it debuted, Emily Ratajkowski Inamorata Swim collection is now the target of a federal lawsuit in New York, where it is alleged that two of Lisa Marie Fernandez’s designs were plagiarised.
Yesterday morning, Fernandez issued a formal statement stating that two of model/actress Emily Ratajkowski Inamorata swimsuit designs from the six-piece debut collection were plagiarised. She said that for three years, her current Lisa Marie Fernandez swimwear designs have been registered and produced.
Fernandez said that the “Cardiff” one-piece and “Vulcan” top from Inamorata woman shop Swim were exact replicas of her “Poppy” one-piece and “Leandra” top. The Leandra bikini by Fernandez retails for $595, while the Triple Poppy one-piece by Fernandez ranges in price from $455 to $535. The Vulcan top by Inamorata costs $80, while the Cardiff one-piece costs $160.
Ratajkowski and Inamorata women Swim were requested to stop selling the Cardiff and Vulcan styles in a cease and desist letter that Fernandez originally sent to them. Fernandez plans to file a lawsuit against Inamorata this week in federal court in New York.
In contrast to the US, where designers are now unable to secure copyright protection for their works of fashion, Fernandez registers her designs in Germany, where the EU affords far better design protection. In 2015, she registered her Poppy and Leandra designs.
In the US, the onus of protecting one’s designs falls fully on the shoulders of the intellectual property owner. As a result, Fernandez has developed a reputation for being a vigorous litigant to protect her reputation. H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and Cotton On are among the retailers she has previously sued for stealing her designs.
Ratajkowski claimed that the Cardiff suit was influenced by a vintage suit Stephanie Seymour wore in Sports Illustrated, maybe anticipating litigation after receiving the cease and desist letter. She also shared a picture of a young Christie Brinkley wearing a suit that resembles one of Inamorata’s designs four days prior, claiming that they had manufactured a sample of it a year prior. “We all tap into vintage ideas,” the caption says.
On the other hand, Fernandez has been criticising Ratajkowski for being unauthentic while releasing screenshots comparing the styles that she thinks Ratajkowski plagiarised. Despite rumours that Fernandez has filed a lawsuit, New York court records have not yet been updated to reflect the existence of a complaint.