BCBG has had it. After watching low-quality knock-offs of Herve Leger’s famous “bandage dress” crop up all over the Internet for years, the company of “good style, good attitude” finally filed a lawsuit in California’s Central District Court against Stretta. What pushed BCBG over the edge? Stretta, as part of an advertising campaign, “leaked” information indicating that the knock-off dresses were manufactured in the same factories as the original.
Herve Leger’s distinctive dresses, worn by everyone from trophy wives and socialites to Oscar winners, can run you anywhere from $1500 for the “basic” version to nearly $4000 for the embellished models. The knock-offs sell for between $200-$400. In the complaint, BCBG alleges false advertising, infringement and dilution of trade dress by tarnishment and blurring and seeks an injunction and an unspecified amount of damages.
It will be interesting to see whether the court finds the iconic dress worthy of protection. After all, Stretta could argue that the design house’s own narrative of the style is “bands of fabric, arranged in horizontal and/or diagonal patterns, to form the tight-fitting dress with an overall look that accentuates the female form,” which sounds a bit too generic, if you ask me; but at the very least, it describes perfectly the also-famous shutter-pleated cocktail dresses designed by Tadashi Shoji. In any case, Stretta should brace for a fierce legal battle over the bandage dress or risk being scarred for life.