Diane Von Furstenberg settled out of court yesterday with Jennifer Halchuk and Richard Lyle of Mercy of Canada for an undisclosed sum. Halchuk and Lyle had accused Von Fustenberg of improperly copying a floral cropped jacket from Mercy's spring 2008 line (which appeared in DVF's spring 2009 collection). The similarities between the two jackets were first noticed by a columnist for the National Post, a Canadian newspaper. DVF apologized and offered compensation.
“While this is an isolated incident for DVF, it is unfortunate that way too many others intentionally build businesses by stealing the work of other designers,” Von Furstenberg said. As head of the CFDA, the designer is pushing for the federal Design Piracy Prohibition Act to pass, which does protect designers from copycats. Lest anyone accuse her of hypocrisy, it does appear that the designer herself is living by her own words: The offending jacket is being pulled from the collection and amends have been made.