Chanel involved in a plagiarism case
Dec 9, 2015
Chanel's latest Métiers d'Art collection was showcased in Rome in early December, winning accolades from the press and a great many critics. Pictures of the lavish show produced by Karl Lagerfeld at Cinecittà's film studios were broadcast by the international press and the web, and didn't escape the attention of Scottish designer Mati Ventrillon, who was well and truly surprised to see that the collection featured some models that were directly inspired by her own creations.
Mati Ventrillon lives on Fair Isle, a tiny island lost in the North Sea, north of Scotland. She specialises in Shetland pullovers, distinctive for their famous jacquard motif known as 'Fair Isle', and does her best to keep this century-old expertise alive through her small company.
Taken aback, she posted a brief message on Twitter and Facebook reading "Endorsement or plagiarism?".
She told how last summer she was visited by two people from Chanel, who bought some of her items explaining they needed them for their research. She wrote that she sold the models to the visitors, unaware that they would end up copying them.
The case quickly bounced around the British press... and very likely also ended up at the legal affairs department of the Paris house, which immediately offered its apologies, mentioning "a dysfunction within its teams."
"Following the discussions which allowed this dispute to be clarified, Chanel will credit Mati Ventrillon by citing 'Mati Ventrillon design' in its communications, thereby recognising her inspiration for the knitwear models involved," the label stated in a press release.
In the release, the label also stated that "Chanel reiterates how the Maison is extremely vigilant in respecting creativity, whether its own or that of others."
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