Yoko Ono pays off NYC designer over copycat designs

She didn't just pluck those crotch handprints from thin air

Fashion News
openning ceremony-2
These handprints don't print themselves, you know

Remember Yoko Ono's special menswear collection for Opening Ceremony? Ostensibly based on a book of illustrations that Ono drew as a wedding gift for John Lennon, the "Fashions For Men" line was not for the faint-hearted. Think liberal amounts of mesh, crotch handprints, and an illustration of a bum on a hoodie. Now, it turns out that Ono sourced her designs from elsewhere. 

Ono has paid an undisclosed sum to Brooklyn designer Haleh Nematzadeh to settle a lawsuit filed in 2013. Nematzadeh alleged that Ono ripped off her designs – crotchprint included – after she met with Opening Ceremony to discuss including her collection in their catalogue. 

The singer's lawyers initially tried to get the case tossed out of court, arguing that "plaintiffs do not own the exclusive rights to a handprint on the crotch". But it seems like Nematzadeh had a solid enough case against Ono – at least, enough to make Ono settle out of court. 

But Ono's lawyers might be onto something. Handprints, crotch-placed or otherwise, are a long-running visual gag in fashion. As Independent fashion editor Alexander Fury points out, Nematzadeh's designs closely resemble a collection by British designer Laura Mackness:

The Fashion Law notes that similar handprints have been used by Moschino in the 90s and have cropped up in the autumn/winter 2013 collections for Rodarte and Diane von Furstenberg. 

The real solution here? Maybe designers should stop placing handprints over people's intimates. 

Watch Yoko Ono talk to Opening Ceremony's Humberto Leon about her collection:

More Fashion