Jennifer Lopez's Versace dress at the 2000 Grammy Awards is an iconic moment in fashion history. It nearly broke the internet with search queries and led to the birth of Google Images as we know it. Now, the Italian luxury home goods and fashion house is defending their legacy in a lawsuit against Fashion Nova. The digital-first retailer is being accused of infringing on Versace's copyright and trademarks through their sales of an alleged knockoff of the classic dress.
According to Forbes, Versace, which is now owned by fashion entrepreneur Michael Kors, filed a 35-page suit in a California U.S. District Court on Monday. The Italian company is asking for a stop-order on Fashion Nova's sale of the replicas and is also seeking restitution for legal fees and other damages.
Quartz reports that Versace sees Fashion Nova's questionable business practices as "a deliberate effort to exploit the popularity and renown of Versace's signature designs, and to trade on Versace's valuable goodwill and business reputation in order to drive profits and sales to line Fashion Nova's pockets."
The fashion house also claims that Fashion Nova uses black-hat search engine techniques and dishonest marketing tactics to increase their page indexing in an attempt to boost sales and poach customers from other brands.
Fashion Nova released the copycat dress as part of a Celebrities collection, which features other recognizable outfits, like Lil Kim's purple suit from the MTV Music Awards and the latex pants and scintillating bra combo that fans will recognize from the late Aaliyah's "Try Again" video.
This is not the first time Fashion Nova has come under fire for copyright infringement. Kim Kardashian wore a vintage 1998 Thierry Mugler gown to the Hollywood Beauty Awards earlier this year, per The Inquisitr. After garnering considerable attention on social media, the online retailer raced to its manufacturers and produced a dress that seemed the spitting image of Mugler's racy black dress. Kim took to her personal Twitter account in an impassioned speech that reprimanded Fashion Nova for their unethical behavior.
"I've watched these companies profit off my husband's work for years and now that it's also affecting designers who have been so generous to give me access to their beautiful works, I can no longer sit silent. Only two days ago, I was privileged enough to wear a one-of-a-kind vintage Mugler dress and in less than 24 hours it was knocked off and thrown up on a site — but it's not for sale. You have to sign up for a waitlist because the dress hasn't even been made to sell yet."