Kevin Daley, DCNF
A federal judge in New York has ordered Ivanka Trump to testify in an infringement and deceptive trade practices dispute between her company and an Italian shoemaker.
Aquazzura Italia SRL, the Italian boutique founded by Edgardo Osorio, brought a claim against Trump the Younger in June, claiming that three women’s shoes furnished by Ivanka’s line are exactly identical to their own products. The company claims its Belgravia, Forever Marilyn, Wild Thing shoes were rebranded by Trump’s company under the names Necila, Teagin Pointy Toe Pump with Tassel, and Hettie stilleto. The litigation now primarily concerns the Hettie stilleto.
Aquazzura hopes to recover damages for trademark infringements and unfair trade practices. Marc Fisher, who licenses the line, is also named as a defendant in the suit. He filed his own response to the complaint.
The Associated Press reports that Trump’s lawyers hoped to shield her from testifying in the dispute, but Aquazzura’s litigators successfully persuaded U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest to compel Trump’s testimony, given previous public statements about her intimate involvement in the design process.
“There’s not a shoe I’m not intimately involved in designing,” Trump said previously, according to Aquazzura’s court filing.
“Ms. Trump’s public statements regarding active and comprehensive brand management lead to a reasonable inference that the shoe at issue would not have been released without her approval,” Judge Forrest wrote in her order.
“In such a situation,” she added, “a deposition is appropriate.”
In a short statement given to the court last week, Trump denied any involvement with the shoe’s design or production.
“I had no involvement in the conception, design, production or sale of the Hettie Shoe,” she said. “My involvement was strictly limited to the final sign-off of each season’s line after it was first reviewed and approved by the company’s design team.”
The deposition will run no longer than two hours and will be given before the end of October, per Forrest’s order.
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