Rihanna is a fashion badass so it makes sense that she would team up with legendary German sportswear company Puma to release her collection, Rihanna x Fenty x Puma. Since Rihanna became the women’s creative director for Puma two years ago, the brand has been making inroads into women’s sneakers like never before.
This is because Rihanna has the power to sell sneakers to women worldwide, and the women buying them will know they’re high quality due to Puma’s reputation. Rihanna is known for her fashion forward and OTT style, so women know that her shoes will look good on their feet. Rihanna debuted the collection at Paris Fashion Week and fans were very excited about the looks that were displayed.
Here’s a snippet of their collection.
However, the collection is heading to Federal Court in the US with accusations that Forever 21 has stolen designs from the collaboration.
Puma have said in the lawsuit that the ‘Creeper’, ‘Fur Slides’ and ‘Bow Slide’ styles are similar to the ones that have been seen in Forever 21.
According to the court documents, the “use of strikingly similar shoes has not gone unnoticed. The media and consumers alike have commented on the substantial similarities between Puma’s Fenty Copyrights and Defendant’s shoe designs.”
They’re also suing for damages (which involves the losses incurred when people buy the cheaper version of the shoe because they can’t afford Puma’s original) and have insisted that the brand cease selling all slides and Creepers and turn over the profits to Puma.
“We will continue to take action to enforce our global intellectual property rights both against other brands who seek to trade off our designs and reputation and those who trade in counterfeit products,” said a statement from Puma.
Puma have said in the lawsuit that the only reason people are even buying the knockoff versions from Forever 21 is that the whole Forever21 “business model is based on trading off of the established goodwill of reputable, name-brand companies, such as Puma.”
The photos below show the comparisons of the Puma and Forever 21 products. It doesn’t help that the price of the Forever 21 shoes is a mere $18, compared to the $90 that Puma are asking.
It’s surprising that Forever 21 can keep up with all of their lawsuits, as this is just one of fifty recent lawsuits. Forever 21 have had their share of copyright issues with other designers such as Gwen Stefani, Anna Sui, and Trovata. With a bit of luck, they’ll just pay damages and move on with their brand life, but that’s looking unlikely as Puma are rightfully out for blood.