This past summer, Ney York based City Merchandise accused Balenciaga of stealing its New York City souvenir bag design for their Resort 2018 collection, which debuted in November 2017.
City Merchandise stated that Balenciaga “wilfully, intentionally, and purposefully” took the styles, and sold a “virtually indistinguishable” version of its bags for more than £1,500. The Brooklyn company proceeded with legal action against the fashion house.
In recent months, Balenciaga has also been called out for copying the iconic blue IKEA in-store shopping totes and the Ruff Ryders record label logo, which City Merchandise cited in their own complaint.
Last month, Balenciaga responded to City Merchandise, stating that the souvenir company had no basis on which to sue the company since they had no official copyright protection for the bag style. Representatives for Balenciaga maintained that City Merchandise’s claim that the copyright had been infringed upon “is barred to the extent that it claims rights to elements of works that are scènes à faire, are otherwise not original, or are otherwise not protectable by the copyright asserted in the complaint”.
Since Balenciaga’s response to City Merchandise, the two companies have settled out of court, with terms kept confidential. The court has held the terms of the settlement must be met within 30 days or either party can reopen the case.