Designer Showdown! Oscar De La Renta Accuses Max Mara Studio Of Stealing His Designs

Kerry Pieri

Max Mara looks at Lord & Taylor. Image via WWD

Oscar de la Renta is calling foul on Italian label Max Mara for some current season looks from the brand’s diffusion line that elicited more than a little dj vu from the de la Renta’s own Spring 2008 collection, reports WWD.

An Oscar employee reportedly spied the Max Mara Studio pieces in the windows of Lord & Taylor‘s Manhattan location, and believed the cuts and tribal pattern were too close for de la Renta’s comfort.

The prints and these styles are my clothes from two seasons ago, Oscar asserted to the trade mag.

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Looks from Oscar de la Renta Spring 2008 collection.

The first line of defense would usually be to blame the fabric mill, but de la Renta claims this wasn’t a good excuse in this case.

This particular print is not a print that I bought, he explained to the publication. I gave the Italian house the artwork…This is horrible because Max Mara, you know, they should be more responsible.

Although the Italian brand is offering apologies, they are not quite willing to take the blame, explaining to the fashion pub. “[In the Max Mara Studio collection] the prints are applied on different materials and fashioned in styles that are very different from the models designed by Oscar de la Renta. We will, however, speak to the mill that supplied the fabric.”

That mill, Como-based Gentili Mosconi, is not up for shouldering the responsibility either, contradicting Oscar’s version of the one-year exclusive rule.

We have a commercial agreement with Oscar de la Renta for which he has the worldwide exclusive on our fabrics, whether designed by us or by him,” the mill’s spokesman told WWD.

Seems like a case of he said, he said…he said, and until fashion copyright laws change, it sounds like just a lot of griping to us.

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