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Spot the difference! Independent fashion designer says ASOS jacket looks ‘remarkably similar’ to her work

ASOS remove jacket for sale after complaint about 'Heartbreaker' coat

27 April, 2017 — By Tom Foot

The heartbreaker jacket that was available on the ASOS website and, right, Laurie Lee’s original design

AN independent fashion designer is making a stand after a leather jacket “remarkably similar” to one of her creations appeared on an online clothes giant’s website.

Laurie Lee, who lives in Castlehaven Road, Camden Town, said she did a “double take” when she spotted the “Heart Breaker” coat while browsing for clothes on the ASOS website. The company said it had immediately removed the jacket after Ms Lee filed her complaint.

Ms Lee said: “I think ASOS is most women’s first port of call to buy stuff and I was literally just browsing on there for clothes when I saw it. It felt like it was a bit more than a coincidence. I did a bit of a double take.”

Ms Lee, who specialises in hand-printed designs, said she displayed the jacket and other “key pieces” to ASOS and other buyers at a major London Fashion Week event. Her jacket has been on sale exclusively at Selfridge’s since September and featured in magazines including Grazia. Ms Lee added: “I hand-paint all my products on the backs of my leather jackets. But this is just printing – there’s no real craft involved in a mass-produced item. We have all heard this kind of story so many times before, but I am sick of it. The fashion industry is a tough enough nut to crack without this kind of thing. I thought, this has got to stop and I’m going to fight it.”

Laurie Lee

Ms Lee quit a career as an advertising creative to pursue her love of fashion and started a new business two years ago.

She said she was still taking legal advice about where she stood but that it was “intimidating” to come up against a “monster brand”, adding: “Everyday people don’t have to deal with the law. It’s for the day you get divorced, and probate, or maybe as a kid doing something naughty. “The big companies, they have powerful advertisers, hold a lot of weight with advertising. And online magazines. It’s hard to get people to talk about it because of that. It is quite intimidating. It’s hard for people make a stand.” ASOS, which is based in Mornington Crescent, said it has taken its “Heart Breaker” jacket offline while it investigates.

A spokeswoman added: “We take intellectual property concerns extremely seriously and immediately took the jacket off our site while we investigate further.”

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