CLEVELAND, Ohio — An Ohio fashion designer received a cease and desist letter from Khloe Kardashian, after she accused Khloe of stealing her designs.
In the letter, Khloe’s lawyers claim Good American has never heard of Destiney Bleu or seen her designs.
However, Destiney Bleu sent News 5 in Cleveland, Ohio copies of emails from Khloe’s executive assistant claiming Khloe “loves” her designs. As well as copies of several orders she placed of items Bleu says she duplicated. But even with that evidence Bleu’s lawyers say legally there isn’t anything stopping Khloe from ripping off designs from independent designers and that is the problem.
With one tweet, Destiney Bleu set off a firestorm online, accusing one of the biggest names in Hollywood, Khloe Kardashian, of ripping off her designs. Days later, attorneys representing Khloe and her brand Good American sent Bleu a cease-and-desist letter, threatening legal action if Bleu continued to make false accusations.
But Bleu sent News 5 a series of emails that show Khloe’s assistant began contacting her November of 2016. In one email, Khloe’s stylist requested a nude and black bodysuit.
But Bleu’s lawyers say, while “tacky,” it is not illegal for Khloe to steal designs. Attorney Alan Brandt with Faye Sharpe says fashion isn’t usually protected under copyright laws. Alan Brandt with Faye Sharpe says fashion isn’t usually protected under copyright laws.
“When it comes to clothing, it is more what is on the clothing that may be protected because the clothing itself is viewed as functional,” said Brandt.
Trade dress can also protect the visual appearance of a product but Brandt says it takes time to establish. “It is something someone just starting out has to put the time in and the advertising money in to acquire secondary meaning,” said Brandt.
Brandt says even if a designer is granted a copyright for a particular design enforcement can also be challenging. “Copyright litigation is extremely expensive,” added Brandt. An option Bleu’s attorneys say they will not pursue at this time.
In the same week Khloe younger sister, Kylie Jenner, was also accused of copying designs from another independent designer. That designer also released emails and invoices of orders Jenner placed.