Cult Gaia really started making a name for itself when one of the biggest trending bags of 2017 happened to be Cult Gaia’s Ark bag.
The bag consisted of a delicate and crescent-shaped bamboo material that somewhat resembled a picnic basket.
And if the full aesthetic of the bag wasn’t enough, the price mark definitely was, retailing at initially less than $100.
The bag was also featured in high-end publications like:
- Harper’s Bazaar
And of course, when anything starts to trend, in comes its imitators.
This obviously left Cult Gaia’s founder Jasmin Larian very displeased.
In January, Larian filed a suit against a brand called Joia and soon after that, in February, Cult Gaia claimed the Steve Madden’s version — the BShipper, $68 — was a direct copy of the Ark and threaten to sue for infringement.
But then, Steve Madden decided to turn around and sue Cult Gaia.
It’s not the first time that Steve Madden has been sued for allegedly copying other brand’s designs, but that doesn’t mean Steve Madden was going to back down.
In response. Steve Madden turned around and filed a lawsuit of its own in March.
In the suit, Steve Madden claims that Cult Gaia could not seek legal protection for its bag since the design “slavishly copies” vintage Japanese picnic bags from the ’40s.
So what does that mean?
Steve Madden is claiming it was never Cult Gaia’s design to claim in the first place.
Steve Madden is also requesting that the court make it impossible for Larian to ever sue Steve Madden for its own version of the bag since Cult Gaia does not own the rights to the design in question.
Steve Madden also requests Cult Gaia to pay all of Steve Madden’s legal fees.
But Larian has not backed down as on Tuesday, according to the filing, she asked to be awarded more than $15 million in damages “sustained as a result of Steve Madden’s infringement and unfair competition.”
Not only does the filing describe Steve Madden’s actions as “gross, wanton, willful and malicious conduct” but it also asks that Steve Madden pay for Cult Gaia’s legal fees as well as any profits made from its “Ark” lookalike to Cult Gaia.