An Oscar de la Renta staffer spotted some very familiar styles and patterns in the window of Lord & Taylor, but they weren't Oscar's. Rather, the looks are from Max Mara's diffusion line, Max Mara Studio. Needless to say, de la Renta is none to pleased, reports WWD
The designer blasted Max Mara's sense of integrity for lifting prints he claims are his. The accusation actually comes on the heels of Max Mara's recent bad press over rumors they'd copied a Balenciaga coat with the help of French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, who was subsequently blacklisted from Balenciaga's Paris show.
But back to the scandal du jour. While textile mills often re-ciruclate prints after a designers' one year exclusive has expired, de la Renta claims the design in question was his own, not the mill's, thus according to de la Renta, the mill had no right to re-sell it.
The mill's owner, Francesco Gentili countered by pointing out that his contract with de la Renta applies the limited, one-year exclusive contract on fabrics to one year, whether they are produced in-house or by the designer. The designer also cited certain cuts on items that he feels too closely mirror his own pieces.
The pictures show that yes, the prints are nearly identical, and perhaps the silhouettes too, but until contracts are reviewed, whether it's actually copyright infringement remains to be seen.
Pictured above: The designs in question, from left Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara Studio, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara Studio.