Common Thread: Accessory woes for Kardashian after she is accused of stealing designs



By: Shelisa Melendez

Kim Kardashian may be popular among the media, but she has recently found her way onto one famous designer’s bad side.

For the past few years, the women of the Kardashian family have mastered the art of brand building; everything from shoes, fragrances, handbags, diet plans, books, clothing lines and wedding extravaganzas have kept the Ks — Kourtney, Khloe, Kim and “momager” Kris — in the limelight.

In Monday’s issue of Women’s Wear Daily alone, a total of four separate articles featured the Kardashians, spotlighting the media hungry family.

Adding a notch in her belt as a fashion mogul (I use that term very loosely), Kim’s new jewelry line, Belle Noelle, has been criticized for its very similar aesthetic to that of the jewelry designer Alexis Bittar, a Council of Fashion Designers of America award-winner.

In a New York Post article, while walking past the Dash store (the Kardashian’s boutique) in SoHo, Bittar said that he noticed a similarity between his pieces and those displayed in her store.

According to the Post article, Bittar has loaned jewelry to Kim before, but has said he will not in the future. Bittar has no plans of suing.

“I haven’t talked to Kim about it, the truth is she might not even know,” Bittar said to the Post. “She might be so far removed from it (the design process), and her designers go shopping and knock things off. But we are definitely not lending to Kim anymore.”

It is quite understandable for Bittar to refuse lending Kimmie anymore of his coveted designs, after unexpectedly seeing his pieces imitated while taking a stroll in SoHo. However, when is it safe to distinguish design inspiration from knock-offs?

I have seen the Belle Noelle pieces juxtaposed to the Alexis Bittar pieces, and I will say there are similarities, but nothing so blatantly replicated. Hence the reason, I think, for no legal action being taken by Bittar.

“She hasn’t ever noted any inspiration from Alexis Bittar’s pieces, so any similarity in design is pure coincidental,” a Belle Noelle representative said to the Post.

However, this is not the first time Kim or her sisters have been accused of copying a famous designer’s designs.

According to a Forbes article in August, the Botkier company issued a cease and desist order, accusing the reality TV family of knocking-off one of its handbags — the “Clyde” bag — and selling it under the Kardashian Kollection brand.

In this case, Botkier pursued legal action; understandably so. The Kardashian Kollection handbag was almost an exact replica of the $600 Botkier “Clyde” handbag.

Hopefully Kimmie will learn her lesson; she already has enough rumors about her fake assets to deal with.