Karl Lagerfeld has landed himself in hot water by overstepping fashion boundaries according to New Balance. The athletic brand is filing a lawsuit against the fashion designer, claiming that he has ripped off the brands trademark trainer logo. Legal documents filed against the designer state that the use of the letter K logo appearing on the side of the sneaker is too similar to the New Balance Signature N. New Balance states that this may cause unwelcome confusion among their customers. A key difference between the similarly styled kicks is that the new balance retail for $112 while Lagerfeld’s version will cost you $360.
New Balance is suing the iconic designer over a trainer in his namesake line that resembles the sportswear brand’s 574s and other initial-marked styles. Lagerfeld first showcased the high end trainers at his January Couture Fashion show where he sent every model down the catwalk wearing a pair of the sneakers. As the report goes, it’s the K, as in Karl, that’s causing legal trouble for Lagerfeld. It doesn’t take more than a simple side-by-side comparison to see that the designs’ K could pass for letters within the same, block-like font family as the New Balance N. Whether or not Karl’s $360 leather-and-mesh sneaker is replicated entirely from the lower-priced New Balance aesthetic is up for serious debate.
New balance is the latest sneaker company to fight back against luxury brands ‘borrowing” their trademark design. In recent years high fashion designers have been drawing inspiration from less expensive casual footwear and marking up the price on their designer label with exaggerated high tops, metallic tevas and jeweled Birkenstocks. New Balance says it has “filed a lawsuit against Karl Lagerfeld to protect our intellectual property rights related to our iconic Lifestyle footwear designs.” The athletic brand claims that the design, signature K and placement are all a bit too close to home for their liking. Lagerfeld’s reps have yet to comment on the suit.