Fashion Law: Yoko Ono Settles Copyright Lawsuit

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Singer-songwriter, artist, and peace activist Yoko Ono created a special-edition fashion line of menswear for Opening Ceremony back in 2012. It received quite the backlash from Brooklyn-based designer who filed a copyright lawsuit against Yoko. Stylist Haleh Nematzadeh sued John Lennon’s widow, last year for her wacky-fetish-inspired line, resembling a lot like her S/S 2013 – Gonna Walk The Night collection.

Yoko Ono claimed her collection was based on a book of illustrations she drew for John Lennon in 1969 as a wedding gift for her hubby-to-be during such times. The drawings featured minimalistic pieces with sexual references, including handprints drawn on the crotches of pants and a slightly children outline of a butt on a hoodie.

The plaintiff claims there is too much similarity to her hand printed over the crotch and nipple areas. She also claims that she presented her designs to Ono’s design firm Opening Ceremony back in 2012 but was declined for production. The refusal removed the Brooklyn designer’s hopes of making it into the retailer’s catalog however, she accuses the defendants stole her designs, only to alter the garments into a men’s line exclusively.

The Japanese artist has denied the allegations but has reached a settlement – an undisclosed amount – with Nematzadeh, in order to the end the legal dispute. Namatzedeh was wise to take the deal as this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a ‘hand print’ design featured in collections or editorials. Remember Diane Von Furstenburgs A/W 2012 collection or Barbara Streisand in The Owl and the Pussycat back in 1970! The Oscar-winning attire worn by Streisand was constructed by, none other than costume designer, Ann Roth.

News reference via NY Post and Dazed Digital and Images via each designer collection

 

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