Ivanka Trump Must Testify In Shoe Design Ripoff Dispute

A Manhattan judge has ordered Ivanka Trump to give a deposition in a lawsuit by an Italian designer accusing her of trademark infringement and ripping off a shoe design.

The Associated Press reports that Trump's lawyers hoped to shield her from testifying in the dispute, but Aquazzura's litigators successfully persuaded U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest to compel Trump's testimony, given previous public statements about her intimate involvement in the design process.

This came after Forrest rejected the claim submitted by Trump's lawyer stating that, "The deposition of Ms. Trump would be an unnecessary distraction and would interfere with her ability to perform her duties at the White House". Trump has the option to complete the deposition in Washington.

Aquazzura Italia SRL sued Trump previous year on the basis that her Hettie shoe was basically identical to its $785 Wild Thing Shoe, right down to the tassel.

Ms Trump stepped down from her corporate position before her father took office and her legal team said she should not be deposed because she "does not possess any unique information" about her company's shoe designs.

However Aquazzura cited earlier statements made by Trump, including one in which she reportedly said: "There's not a shoe I'm not intimately involved in designing". According to Bloomberg, Ivanka couldn't escape questions in the lawsuit because Ivanka is too busy as a White House "high-ranking government official" to answer such questions.

The lawsuit against Trump and Marc Fisher, who partnered with Trump to launch her eponymous footwear brand in 2010, accused the duo of "seeking the same success Aquazzura experienced, but without having to put in the hard creative work".

Aquazzura's Wild Thing sandal (left) and Ivanka Trump's Hettie sandal (right). It is set to take place in October on a "mutually acceptable schedule".

Filing the lawsuit in 2016, Aquazurra claimed that Ivanka Trump's Hettie Shoe was a cheap rip-off of its "coveted" Wild Things stiletto.

Other shoes sold by Trump's IT Collection and named in the suit also appear strikingly similar to those created by Aquazzura.

  • Rogelio Becker