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Mati Ventrillon/Chanel Métiers d'Art pre-AW16
Mati Ventrillon/Chanel Métiers d'Art pre-AW16mativentrillon.co.uk/Courtesy of Chanel

Chanel accused of plagiarism, apologises

The French maison issues an apology after Scottish knitwear designer Mati Ventrillon accused the house of copying her

Last week, Chanel was accused of plagiarising Mati Ventrillon, a small Fair Isle knitwear brand based in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. Ventrillon, who runs the brand, took to social media after noticing that some designs in the house’s Metiers d’Art show bore an uncanny resemblance to her own. “Endorsement or plagiarism?” she asked on her brand’s Facebook.

“Earlier this summer, two Chanel staff visited Fair Isle and bought some of my stock garments with the understanding that the garments were for research,” she went on to say, explaining the situation. “I specifically said that I was going to sell it to them for the reputation of Chanel house (sic) and because I would not expect them to copy my design... Little (did) I know.”

In the wake of these accusations, which subsequently garnered support on social media, Chanel has promptly and admirably issued a full apology. “Chanel will credit Mati Ventrillon by including the words ‘Mati Ventrillon design’ in its communication tools to recognise her as the source of inspiration for the knitwear models in question,” reads the press release.

“Chanel recognises that this situation resulted from a dysfunctionality within its teams and has presented its apologies. Chanel also recognises the heritage and know-how of Fair Isle,” it goes on to say. “Chanel wishes to emphasise that the house is extremely vigilant in terms of its respect for creativity, whether its own or that of others.” 

Since the apology, Ventrillon has taken to social media to extend thanks to those who supported her, as well as to Chanel who she describes as “very open and helpful throughout the process”. “They immediately apologised and said they were going to look into the situation,” she writes. “...with their apology and by crediting the design they have shown respect and support of small artisans.”

Endorsement or plagiarism?Earlier this summer two Chanel staff visited Fair Isle and bought some of my stock garments...

Posted by Mati Ventrillon on Thursday, 3 December 2015