Agent Provocateur Sues Reality TV Star Over Lookalike Design

 

Agent Provocateur's Mazzy bikini (left) & Garner's Monaco bikini (right)

Agent Provocateur's Mazzy bikini (left) & Garner's Monaco bikini (right)

Luxury lingerie label Agent Provocateur has filed suit against British reality TV star Kimberley Garner. Kimberley London, the line launched earlier this year by Garner of "Made In Chelsea" fame, is offering a lookalike of Agent Provocateur's Mazzy bikini for a fraction of the price and the Brit lingerie brand isn't happy. According to Garry Hogarth, CEO of Agent Provocateur, "We invest significantly in product design and development and the Mazzy is our best-selling swimwear design. We have brought this action to protect our intellectual property, our designers and our business." While Garner has confirmed that she will defend her Monaco swimsuit design in court, Hogarth claims the company has "evidence of Kimberley buying a Mazzy bikini in one of our stores."

Garner, who does not have any formal design training, maintains that her designs are original, saying: "I set up this company and I'm 23 and I've put all my savings into making this a success." She further claims: "It does seems that Agent Provocateur are doing this just for publicity, as you can see from how many extremely similar pieces that are already available on the market."

In case you're wondering on what grounds Agent Provocateur is able to sue Garner ... in the UK, a fashion design either embodied in a drawing and/or garment maybe protected by copyright (for the life of the designer plus 70 years) if it qualifies as a work of artistic craftsmanship. If the garment does not qualify as a work of artistic craftsmanship, it will be protected, as long as its an original work, for 10 years. As you likely already know, very little protection of this kind exists in the U.S. More to come ...