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Mansur Gavriel Heads to Court to Protect Its Bucket Bag

Photo: Mansur Gavriel/Facebook

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Mansur Gavriel is headed to court to protect its coveted bucket bag design. The Fashion Law reports that the New York-based brand is suing a number of companies producing items that are allegedly identical to the shape that made them famous a couple of years ago.

You might be thinking, "But bucket bags have existed for decades," which is correct. From leather Louis Vuitton to slouchy satin pouches, the shape isn't new. Which is why designers Floriana Gavriel and Rachel Mansur are going after specific details.

The brand is offering a litany of evidence to back up its claim that the defendants — Pelletteria Pierre S.N.C. DiScarselli Roberto & C., Bruna Rosso S.N.C., and Hobbs Group S.R.L. — are in the wrong not only because of the shape and drawstring closures of the bags they're producing, but also the tiny details, down to the metallic brand name at the bottom center of the purse.

Regardless of evidence though, a fashion copyright case isn't easy. It will be hard for Mansur Gavriel to win the case, according to The Fashion Law, because the bucket bag design isn't protected by a federal trademark and the brand would need to prove to the court that all consumers associate the bucket bag directly with Mansur Gavriel—which outside the fashion-loving world would be very hard indeed.

What they could prove is their vast influence over the leading bag shapes of the past few years. From Zara to Saint Laurent, nearly every influential brand has released their version of the bucket bag, which speaks to Mansur Gavriel's dizzyingly fast rise to the top and raises the question: If no one's copying you, is anyone paying attention?

Ironically enough, Mansur Gavriel was at the other end of a similar lawsuit when it released its first footwear collection last year. Designer Maryam Nassir Zadeh accused the brand of copying her shoe designs but Mansur Gavriel rebutted by saying MNZ could not "claim ownership of a mule or slide or block heel or color, for that matter."

In that same statement, Mansur Gavriel said, "We are also well aware we do not own the silhouette of the bucket bag or the tote."