You wouldn’t think design king Karl Lagerfeld would ever have to look elsewhere for inspiration. Yet the fashion legend has been slapped with a lawsuit from bosses at sportswear firm New Balance over allegations his new sneakers are a design rip off.
The Chanel style guru who all the biggest stars beg for couture. unveiled his monochrome shoe in April, featuring the letter K in white block capitals on the black side panel.
It immediately caused a social media stir among fashion bloggers, who pointed out the striking similarities between Lagerfeld's shoe and New Balance's classic sneaker; it seems that the sports company's executives took notice and are now proceeding to take legal action.
In court papers obtained by TMZ.com, New Balance chiefs claim Lagerfeld's design is almost identical to their trademark look, which first appeared on the market in the 1970s. They insist the sneakers could cause confusion among consumers.
Given the price differential we aren’t sure this is much more than a publicity stunt; surely New Balance would welcome the association? They obviously don’t ascribe to the theory that imitation is the best form of flattery!