New York—Does “K stand for knock off?”
That’s what one New York handbag designer says may be the case with a handbag that’s part of the debut “Kardashian Kollection for Sears.”
Last week, designer Monica Botkier of Botkier posted a photo one of the Kardashian’s handbag styles from Sears’ website on her blog noting that it looks suspiciously similar to her own Clyde handbag design.
“They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but we don’t think so,” said Botkier, who recently participated in the CFDA/eBay “You Can’t Fake Fashion” campaign.
The Sister Fire Back: You Copied Balenciaga
Sears removed the bag from their website but the Kardashian sisters, daughters of the late attorney Robert Kardashian of O.J. Simpson trial fame, retorted in a release: “Is is our understanding that, contrary to media reports, Sears has not received any cease and desist letter on behalf of Botkier.”
However, Botkier said her attorneys sent Sears a cease and desist letter over the handbag last week.
Nonetheless, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian said Jupi, their partners in producing the collection, would be investigating the matter and that in the meantime the bag wouldn’t be offered for sale.
Meanwhile, the sisters took a snipe back at Botkier regarding her Clyde design:
“Jupi was surprised to hear of the complaints by Botkier since Jupi is aware of preexisting handbag designs bearing substantial style similarities to the 2009 Botkier Clyde handbag, dating back to 2005. Jupi was also surprised by Botkier’s statements in the media about purported ‘knock offs’ of Botkier handbags in light of other comments in the media noting the similarity of Botkier bags to preexisting Balenciaga bags.”
Real designers or not, the Kardashians are unparallel publicity experts, so the controversy couldn’t have erupted at a better time: the sisters will promote their Kardashian Kollection for Sears at a launch party in Hollywood on Wednesday.