Ivanka Trump must answer questions in shoe design lawsuit

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26 June, 2017

A NY judge says Ivanka Trump must testify in a dispute with an Italian shoemaker over one of her company's shoe designs.

The luxury shoe company Aquazzura Italia SRL sued the President's eldest daughter previous year in Manhattan federal court - claiming her Hettie model sandal was a knockoff of the brand's best-selling $785 Wild Thing.

"In such a situation", she added, "a deposition is appropriate".

Forrest wrote that Ivanka Trump's deposition is necessary because she was a company executive during the time the shoes were made and had "high-level, authoritative, personal involvement" in the company.

The company has claimed Ms Trump's fashion line copied what they refer to as their "coveted" designs, particularly the "Wild Things" shoe.

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Ms Trump stepped down from her corporate position before her father took office and her legal team said she should not be deposed because she "does not possess any unique information" about her company's shoe designs.

She said that as the former president of IT Collection LLC, she had "no involvement in the conception, design, production, design, or sale of the Hettie Shoe".

Aquazzura's "Wild Thing" shoe was an immediate success, becoming the signature stiletto of stars including actress Jamie Chung, singer Solange Knowles - Beyonce's sister - and model Kendall Jenner, selling in the United States for US$785 (RM3,3770). According to Bloomberg, Ivanka couldn't escape questions in the lawsuit because Ivanka is too busy as a White House "high-ranking government official" to answer such questions. Its lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

In her ruling Friday, Judge Forrest said: "Ms. Trump's public statements regarding active and comprehensive brand management lead to a reasonable inference that the shoe at issue would not have been released without her approval". The deposition should occur by the end of October on a mutually acceptable schedule. Aquazzura's attorneys pointed to an interview in 2012, wherein Ivanka claimed she is deeply involved in the design of her shoes.

The Florence, Italy-based Aquazzura says almost every detail of its shoe was copied.


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