Diane Von Furstenberg Sues Target For Copyright Infringement

Wrap-dress designer extraordinaire Diane Von Furstenberg has sued Target, claiming the retailer is selling dresses with a print that is nearly identical to its “spotted frog design.”

“Defendants’ infringing dresses are ‘wrap’ dresses made of materials designed to look like silk jersey, a style consumers and the general public have come to associate with DVF,” the complaint said.

Target stopped selling the dresses on its Web site on January 23 after the designer sent it a notice about it, according to the complaint, but the dresses are still available in Target stores.

We’d love to write the rest of this post, but we’re going to Target now. Bye.

Designer Von Furstenberg sues Target over dress [a wire service]


Edit Your Comment

  1. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    How does that thing resemble a spotted frog?

  2. kikidrunkst says:

    Target and DVF should both be sued for their hand in making such an ugly dress!

  3. chersolly says:

    It’s a wrap dress; get over yourself, DVF. Go sell more shit on QVC.

  4. trollkiller says:

    Shouldn’t that dress be worn by a fat woman with flip-flops or Jelly shoes?

  5. UpsetPanda says:

    Isn’t it understood that designers’ trends and styles get interpreted from the runway down to regular people? Who thought trapeze dresses were fashionable? A host of designers, that’s who! So suddenly every clothing store is selling trapeze and babydoll dresses, and these designers are supposed to be able to say “hey, that’s my pattern, my cut, that’s what I put on the runway three months ago, how dare you replicate it for cheaper and put your own name on it!”

    Seriously, I think DVF is a little overboard with this. Check out every single issue of any women’s fashion magazine…they’re all filled with ways of replicating a high-end style for much less, and a lot of the replication has to do with the pattern.

  6. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    You know, the more I look at it, the more it starts to resemble a hospital gown…

  7. sassydeerrun says:

    DVF is just mad because Isaac Mizrahi is making a buck or two at Target.

  8. shadow735 says:

    In some countries they eat frogs, Man now I am getting hungry that froggy looks mighty tasty

  9. shadow735 says:

    also good luck on the law suit because all the person had to do is change the pattern a certain percentage and its considered a new design.

  10. smitty1123 says:

    Diane Von Furstenberg?

    Diane Von Furstenberg!
    What the hell is she, a Bond villin?

  11. full.tang.halo says:

    @smitty1123:”Diane Von Furstenberg! What the hell is she, a Bond villin?” Zing +1

  12. chiieddy says:

    The people who shop at Target are not going to spend $500 on a DVF dress. It’s not like she’s actually losing a sale.

  13. Tikabelle says:

    I’m certain that Diane Von Furstenberg is the first designer ever to create a knee-length wrap dress with 1950’s style sleeves. Surely the company deserves their money for such an original design.

  14. RandoX says:

    DVF who? I consider myself a member of the general public, and I haven’t even heard of her/them, let alone associated a style with their brand.

  15. Curiosity says:

    Interestingly it is not a new issue – the fashion industry remains mainly unprotected from copyright theft and ironically it is one of the most profitable industries which deals in ideas.

    There are some thoughts about why this is – [papers.ssrn.com]

  16. savvy999 says:

    Looks like a Gateway box to me.

  17. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @MEG MARCO: Don’t forget to save your receipt.

    @RandoX: She’s pretty famous and has been for a loooong time.


  18. D.B. Cooper-Nichol says:

    @Curiosity: Just what we need – more industries being added to the “big copyright” beggar’s list.

    Crappy business model? Just convince Congress to extend copyright protection to your product, and sue away!!!

    The complaint isn’t showing up in the District Court’s PACER database, so I can’t comment on the merits. Generally speaking, though, protection for fashion designs is pretty slim.

  19. perfunctory says:

    Diane Von Furstenburg (god bless her) also sued Forever 21 last year – but I think the issue there was that F21 completely ripped off the style, down to the pattern. Should be interesting to see how this plays out, as she claims that Target’s is only “nearly identical”.

  20. Scudder says:

    @sassydeerrun: Issac left Target for Liz Claiborne this week.

  21. valleyqueen says:

    Yes, it’s the actual print of the dress, not the wrap-style. Target shouda knowd better.

    Regardless, Target needs to start ripping off some cuter stuff.

  22. rhombopteryx says:


    DvF’s going to need even better luck than you think, and not because changing it a bit negates copyright – it doesn’t negate copyright.

    She’s going to need the law to somehow automatically retroactively be changed so that fashion designs are copyrightable in the first place. They largely aren’t, and Congress won’t pass bills that would make them copyrightable. Even the biggest telecom companies in America are having a hard time getting the law changed retroactively, so I’m going to guess she’s out of luck.
    Maybe she should just be content suing her lawyers for giving her bad advice.

  23. UpsetPanda says:

    Believe it or not…there are women who would wear a dress like that. I can think of a few I used to work with and regardless of how the dress pattern looks, these women would make it look like a thousand bucks.

  24. Dashrashi says:

    As I understand it, she won the Forever 21 claim on the basis of pattern, because pattern is sufficiently analogous to art, and so it’s copyright-able. I don’t think she’ll be able to sue on the basis of the design. But where Target may have slipped up in knocking her off was in too closely recreating the pattern.

    As far as being famous, DVF really is one of the iconic fashion designers of the last forty or so years. I’d go so far as to say that the only reason you (if you do) know about wrap dresses is because of DVF. So, invented it literally? Perhaps not. But practically speaking…yeah, sort of.

  25. Landru says:

    Um, DVF was the first to come up with that design. It was a huge deal at the time and it is what made her career.

  26. Parting says:

    Ugly, ugly pattern. And a ugly dress.

  27. kc-guy says:

    @UpsetPanda: Would you introduce me to these ladies? If they can pull that off, I’d love to….never mind.

  28. xxoo says:

    DVF is the president of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America). The CFDA has been trying to get congress to pass laws protecting the design (sewing pattern) of a garment. (Currently, only France does so.) Prints are already protected by copyright. I assume this is an example she can wave in the face of her lobbyists more than anything else. As for attorneys’ fees, she’s married to Barry Diller, so money isn’t exactly tight.

  29. no.no.notorious says:

    no one would care if she wasn’t on opera recently explaining how she came up with the “wrap dress” in the first place

  30. akalish says:

    Fashion designs are copyright-able in France, but not in the U.S. DVF should be flattered–people who shop at Target for dresses likely aren’t her target demographic anyway.

  31. SarraJK says:

    I went to Target today (Toco Hills, Atlanta) and there were a bunch of them. I tried to buy it for kicks, but it rang up as a recalled item.

    The supervisor who came to clear the transaction said she’d never seen a dress recalled before.

  32. Soldier_CLE says that Hideo Kojima has to make MGS till the day he dies! says:

    I can see the ramifications of this lawsuit:

    Fruit of The Loom CEO: Hey! This Hanes shirt looks like ours?
    Fruit of The Loom Lawyer: Let’s sue the pants off of them!
    Fruit of The Loom CEO: Good Idea!

    What a joke. “Nearly identical”? This sounds and looks like another frivilous lawsuit. The smells of this and Bullshit are remarkably similar…