Italian luxury brand Valentino and Internet giant Amazon have filed a joint lawsuit against New York-based Kaitlyn Pan Group for allegedly counterfeiting Valentino shoes and offering them for sale online. The move is Amazon’s first joint litigation with a luxury fashion brand and Valentino’s first with an online retailer. The lawsuit regards the Valentino Garavani Rockstud shoes and the fashion group will receive any proceeds from the case, the companies said in a statement.
Valentino released a statement that said, “The Maison Valentino is one of the main protagonists of International fashion and plays a major role in the luxury division by sustaining Made in Italy. The brand represents in the global market, one of the Italian excellences in the execution of the industrial process in Italy and of the artisanal and handmade workmanship that are entirely produced in the historic Atelier of Piazza Mignanelli in Rome. We consider Made in Italy to be a fundamental value to be fully endorsed, respected and at the forefront of our business and creations. Valentino is an Italian brand operating globally and is a mirror of society. One of our core missions is to safeguard our brand and protect the Valentino Community by celebrating inclusivity and with creativity at the heart of everything we do. We feel this connection with Amazon will highlight the importance also in fashion for greater awareness, knowledge and understanding by shielding the brand online and its resources.”
Maison Valentino’s Garavani Rockstud shoes.
Kaitlyn Pan did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. Amazon has long been rumoured to be readying a new luxury fashion site to rival Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion, but LVMH and other top luxury groups say the risk of counterfeiting is high on such platforms.
The counterfeit version found on Kaitlyn Pan’s website.
Amazon said it had shut down Kaitlyn Pan’s seller account on its platform in September 2019.
“Despite multiple notices of infringement and a cease and desist order, Kaitlyn Pan continues to import, distribute, sell, and offer infringing products on kaitlynpanshoes.com,” the companies said.
They added Kaitlyn Pan had tried to apply for a U.S. trademark for the Garavani Rockstud shoes, “flagrantly and willfully disregarding Valentino’s intellectual property”.
Dharmesh Mehta, vice president, Customer Trust and Partner Support at Amazon said in a statement, “The vast majority of sellers in our store are honest entrepreneurs but we do not hesitate to take aggressive action to protect customers, brands, and our store from counterfeiters. Amazon and Valentino are holding this company accountable in a court of law and we appreciate Valentino’s collaboration throughout this investigation.”