The husband-wife team behind Hanna Bernhard jewelry took to their blog today to accuse Iris Apfel of copying their toucan pin for her HSN jewelry line. Hanna Bernard designer Natalie posted a photograph of Iris wearing the "original" pin some years ago, which looks almost identical to one Apfel recently created for HSN. She writes:
IRIS HAS COPIED ONE OF OUR PIECES! She has purchased a toucan head pin from one of our customers several years ago in Palm Beach FL.
She's tried to contact HSN and Apfel about it, but from what we can understand, she hasn't gotten very far:
Of course I have to talk to HSN people, I tried yesterday but could just get in touch with their customer service for orders. Also talked to Iris who could just wonder how my customer knew about it, telling me that she didn't buy the pin from me, and 'what we should do about it'! She was supposed to call back: I am still waiting!
Being a small company with a relatively unknown blog (Hanna Bernhard's profile has only gotten 182 views since it started last October), this story could easily have been overlooked, but it turns out that Sea of Shoes' Jane Aldridge is big a fan of their jewelry and has taken up their cause. Aldridge writes:
My mom and I are so disappointed to see this. Shame on Iris for taking credit for a design that is not her's for the sake of lining her own pockets. Natalie and her husband should be compensated for this design ... This isn't over yet, and you can be sure my mom and I will be on team Hanna Bernhard all the way. [sic]
Scandal! However, Apfel's HSN collection, titled Rara Avis, doesn't go on sale until September, so they've got plenty of time to iron out this bejeweled-toucan thing before then.
ONE OF OUR DESIGNS COPIED BY IRIS APFEL FOR HSN!!! [hanna-bernhard]
DISAPPOINTED [Sea of Shoes]
Unveiled: The Iris Apfel for HSN Collection is Pretty Awesome [Racked]