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Donatella Versace won’t have to testify in the ongoing Fashion Nova lawsuit

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Versace claimed that the fast-fashion company was deliberately copying its designs back in 2019

In November 2019, Versace announced that it was suing Fashion Nova, arguing that the fast-fashion company had deliberately copied its “most famous and recognisable designs”, including its famed black and gold Barocco print, and the iconic “Jungle Print” popularised by J.Lo in 2000 (and revisited at the luxury house’s SS20 show).

Then, hitting back at the copying accusations with 32 defences back in January 2020, Fashion Nova called into question Versace’s right to copyright some of its designs, on the basis that they’re not “original”, featuring “standard geometric figures and patterns” which are “in the public domain” and “widely used in the fashion/apparel industry”.

Now, in a new update on the case, The Fashion Law has reported that Donatella Versace won’t have to personally testify, a decision made by Judge Rozella Oliver of the US District Court for the Central District of California. This comes despite Fashion Nova pushing for the artistic director and vice president to give evidence in connection with the ongoing infringement case. 

Specifically, Fashion Nova has claimed that Donatella Versace holds information relating to the case that couldn’t be provided by the Italian label’s Company Heritage & Special Projects Senior Manager, Antonio Masciariello, during his own August 6 deposition – namely, information about “the design and creation of” Versace’s famed jungle print dress.

According to Fashion Nova, “Mr. Masciariello had no knowledge and could not testify on the production process for the Jungle Trade Dress,” which is partly what led the brand to call for the testimony of Donatella herself.

Versace subsequently responded that Fashion Nova’s request should be denied for multiple reasons, including the fact that: “Ms. Versace does not possess unique or superior knowledge of any fact that is relevant and material to this lawsuit,” and, “requiring Ms. Versace to prepare and sit for a deposition would impose an undue burden.”

Judge Oliver sided with Versace on the matter in an August 13 order, reportedly stating that: “the information (that Fashion Nova) contends it needs from Ms. Versace that it could not obtain from Mr. Masciariello is not sufficiently relevant to the case to warrant the deposition of Ms. Versace, or that (Fashion Nova) has not shown the information is uniquely within Ms. Versace’s knowledge.” Neverthless, Versace will still have to respond to Fashion Nova regarding the information that it allegedly failed to receive during Masciariello’s deposition.