Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Hello everyone,

One of our customers from NY has forwarded us a link yesterday, anouncing the launch of an exclusive jewelry line by Iris Apfel for HSN.
I had never heard about this company, but with a little research, I have found out that they have a leading online sale site, and also sell on TV !! so it is VERY BIG indeed.

What a shock for me when I clicked on the link ! : 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 lives there half of the year.
I don't understand how can such a thing happen, Iris is 89 so I can not help myself but to find her some excuses -should I ?-, but there is someone in this business chain, who has seen the tag at the back with our name on it and still copied it ! This is such a shame !

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 !

I believe that there is a fight coming in a near future : I am ready..

These are the pictures of our toucan pin, Iris wearing it, and her copy for HSN.
There was a party for the launching in NY several days ago, I could find some pictures here and there..

Feel free to spread the new !

You can click on pictures to enlarge them.




                                              Source :


                                             HERE IS THE REPRO



  1. You should sue her and HSN. that is not right. I live in NYC and if I find out anything else I will forward to you. I am one of your ebay customers. Good luck!

  2. That's really a shame :( You should get properly compensated for this as this is your design and it's very obvious that it was copied :(

  3. I really feel for you. I have seen many celebrities making lines with their names on them, basically they make copies of things they already own. Now I can see this isn't a problem if it si a very old vintage piece with no original tag, but when it is a newer piece and very obviously marked with the designers tag then the original designer should be given credit and royalties. I also feel it is insulting to the original design and craftmansship of your unique jewellery. I wish you the best of luck fighting this.

  4. i cannot believe that iris did this!!! im really sorry about this... i did a quick post on this on my blog too.. i hope ti helps spread the word and make u get some fair compensation

  5. this is soooo not right, i think a lawsuit is in order. however, if this makes you feel a little better, imitation is the best form of flattery and im sure that people in the know won't settle for cheaply made counterfeits. still, it is very wrong and i hope the best for you.

  6. that is awful! i'm sure this will be resolved since people love your work so much... she won't get away with it! all the best...


  7. This is totally shocking. No matter what her age she has NO excuses! In fact at her age, and being who she is, she should know better.

    Hopefully people will realise it's not right to buy an imitation (which, by the way isn't as nice as your original).

    Good luck for your fight!

  8. This is so wrong! I agree a lawsuit or monetary compensation is in order. I wrote up a post on my blog about this. I think everyone should get the word out about this!

  9. Wow, this is absolutely shocking. I can't believe it. And needless to say, your version is a million times better!


  10. i am terribly sorry this happened to you. it must be so disheartening to have a millionaire take advantage of you like that.

    please keep us informed about the situation.

  11. this sucks. i'm so sorry this happened to You. it's absurd really.

  12. How terrible. I have been a huge admirer of your work since I learned of you a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I cannot afford one of your lovely pieces but I would never buy a copy!!! If I can't afford the real thing, I get something else altogether (or save up for the real thing).

    Best of luck in your pursuits.

  13. Not that I know anything about law or whatever, but maybe you should set up a petition or something that would allowed your loyal fans and customers back you up? I found about this via Sea of Shoes, and I KNOW that if Jane posted something, you would get A LOT of support. I hope you take action. Don't let them win! You are an artist--protect your art!

  14. That is just plain wrong. I, also, would be rearing for a fight over this. Surely, someone cannot 'appropriate' another's original design without any recompense forthcoming...

    I do hope this sorts itself out. For your sake and the designer because reputations are made and broken over affairs like these.


  15. You are a victim of a copyright violation.
    I am extremely sorry.
    This must be very painful for you.
    No matter who breaks the law or under what circumstances it happens, copying is not only wrong and illegal but it is also very bad for the reputation of whoever does it.
    I'm already starting to feel pretty negative about Iris and HNS, 2 entities that I used to admire. I really expect them to find a quick and fair solution to this problem. I think that the only thing that would make me forgive them is if they issue a public apology to you and the people like me who are HNS customers as soon as possible. If they wait too long the negativism will grow and grow and it's not going to be good for them. I am pretty sure that a lot of other people feel like me. The copied pin should be banned from wherever is selling right now.

    Iris and HSN have all the freedom in the world to correct their mistake. I hope that they make a good choice. It would be extremely unfair to put you, the artist, in a position where you have to fight. That is wrong and unfair.

    To Iris and HSN: Hello, the world is watching! We expect you both to behave decently. You're trying to sell us something that you stole from an extremely talented artist. We do not like it at all.

  16. Dear Nathalie,

    What a shock!! It's a shame! I'm extremely sorry and understand your feeling. Of course, you fight hard for it. Your pieces are always impressive and one of the kind. I always love your design and support you.

    love you,


  17. What are your last names Nathalie and Fernand?

  18. Dear Nathalie,

    Just updated this shocking news on my blog! It was so coincident that I posted one of your pieces last night.


  19. i'm totally on your side. i wrote about on my blog. i hope you get what you deserve!

  20. It's a sad reality of the fashion biz isn't it?--doesn't make it right though.
    Clearly a misguided woman. Too bad, b/c I have always admired her moxie and style for a mature woman.

    Fight the good fight Hanna--you're an original, those that know--know!

  21. Magically, I don't feel that bad. You could indeed win a copyright law suit because the minute this pin was fixed in a tangible medium, it is subject to copyright infringement. However, HSN does collections inspired by the pieces of the famous and wealthy, meaning that the majority of this collection is probably all derivative of another designers jewelery; it is reproductions from the estate of Iris. Also, your pieces are thousands of $$ and HSN believes in fashion for the masses, plus I honestly think that's fair. You could lose this potential lawsuit b/c. your aren't exactly "well known" which would mean potential customers are not confused by the two differing yet similar pins. Ultimately, only a court can decide, but I think it's unfair to blame Iris or let "Jane Aldridge" complain about on her blog, not everyone is as luck as she is...

  22. Anonymous ? that is funny ! You are probably a friend of Iris or HSN..
    Their piece is not an inspiration, it is a reproduction, it is a scandal and you are an exception not to agree about that.
    By the way I will do it again on the blog :

  23. Are you kidding me...that is the most ridiculous comment. "inspired by" and blatant copy and reproduction is another thing. Clearly this is a copyright infringement of Ms. Hanna's design and Iris is completely at fault. It's not like it was a mishap or accident on Iris' part. How do you plan and create a full on collection that you are going to be selling on a huge platform such as HSN and not be aware of what she did? She obviously handed the pin to to production and said here make this exact thing in cheaper materials. Also, you can make affordable pieces for the masses that are inspired by a certain piece, but for goodness sake make it an original design or she could have at least picked another animal to not make it so obvious! What she did is called THEFT and that's the bottom line. Oh and you sound like you have a chip on your shoulder when it comes to Jane Aldridge...jealous much?

  24. Tweeted this for you!! Such a shame that someone would copy so blatantly.

  25. i would definitely be in touch with your lawyers instead of taking online action.
    be careful with talking about it online though... you really don't want to be slapped with a defamation/libel lawsuit for talking about this online and risk your fan's being liable to a civil claim for defending you (although it is very sweet of them).

    i hope you are able to rectify this problem though. plagiarism of any kind is terrible.

  26. This is beyond disgusting and I hope you are rightfully compensated and this matter is straightened out asap! We had to post on this for you guys:

  27. Again, I am in no way affiliated with HSN nor Iris,actually a fashion crazed law student who thinks some people need to check their ego's... just telling it like it is. Realistically, if it was a "blatant copy" the two would look identical, which they don't. What you all suggest is what the court will tell you if you make it there: animals and reptiles on a pin can be made by anyone, whether it's a toucan, monkey, or snake; you can't trademark the design of an animal. Really isn't a "scandal" as again, most people really don't know who you are (which doesn't cause customer confusion, a huge thing working against you). Seems to me like you're milking it to create a scandal and get press, almost forcing it to be a scandal.And the Jane Aldridge thing, it's really cute and tres 16yr. old of you to say "jealous much?"--very cute really. But I'm not, just think it's ridiculous for a girl who literally has it all (or seems that way) to criticize something she has very little to do with, other than the fact she wears this jewelery...

  28. Anonymous who commented before me: you really don't like Jane, right?
    You sound like someone who has lots of issues with jealousy. What you're writing about here makes no sense. Please educate yourself before writing such things. You actually sound like a crazed law student as you describe yourself.

  29. So if I understand your way of thinking, since I am not well known, I can be copied ?
    Well known by who ?
    I personally don't care about beeing well known of not, but for your information, our work has been shown in many American books, the latest one is 'Costume jewelry' by Judith Miller.
    Jewelry world is a small world, this counterfeited piece is an offense for customers who collect our work, I have read this several times in comments here and there.
    You probably don't know anything about jewelry technique, but believe me on this, they tried to make a copy as close as they could to the original piece, without spending too much money.
    The colors are the same and in some places they even counted the number of tones to put the same.
    People who know about our work, know that our pieces are hand soldered and not molded. The stones on the counterfeited pieces are glued, not prongset because it is molded, and you can mot mold prongs. The stones used are of a cheap quality etc
    This has probably no real interest for Mrs X who will just buy the pin for its design, that is why HSN and Iris Apfel have choosen to copy it and sell it for cheap.
    Many people agree to the fact that beeing copied is the highest form of recognition.
    Well, when it happens to a very rich company like Chanel it is one thing, but we are just my husband and me working, we make everything by hand, spend hours and put our soul and love in each of our one-of-a-kind pieces, so this is just disgusting.
    We haven't chosen what is happening today, I would prefer that people talk about us for more interesting reasons.
    I feel very grateful to Jane and Judy Aldridge who naturally did the post on their blogs just because this is a scandal. I didn't ask them to do so. Just did my own post on my very very small blog.
    Jane is may be 16 -well I think she is older than that- but I have met her several times, she is very clever, mature and well educated, and old enough to know what is good or bad.
    You can consider her as a child, in that case it is worse, kids do not play with those feelings.
    Jane has something to do with it, her and her mother collect our work since several years.
    They are both artists in their own way. Judy is a very talented photographer, so is Jane, and if they were not, they would not get 80 000 clicks per day on their blogs.
    Nobody -or almost- read mine, they have so many readers that their voices are heard, including by many influent people.
    I am sure this is bothering for some of them, and I am glad it is. If HSN takes the right decision to stop the production of this piece, it will just be because Jane and Judy revealed this scandal and won't let it down.
    Many people have told me that because of this they will never buy on HSN site.
    So HSN : hurry up to answer about what is next, your image is being seriously tarnished, same for Mrs Apfel..
    Nathalie Hanna Bernhard.

    1. One good thing is that the copy in no way comes close to capturing the spirit of the real pin. Not only did they make it as cheap as they could, what I see is that it has been just copied, not any attempt to alter it here and there to make it different enough that the inspiration could be admired and a uniqueness happen at the same time. As a result their rendition is dull and with out character.
      I wonder what else she copied to make 'her' collection? I'm guessing your piece might not be the only one.

  30. This disgusts me and I am so sorry!
    What she did AND HSN (Oh, they are on board with this too so you can go after them) is an OBVIOUS, blatant and INTENTIONAL intellectual property infringement.
    You will prevail. Contact an intellectual property lawyer!
    You are entitled to damages, profits made off the infringing design and compensation for distress. I wish you lived in Canada. I know of a good one that has helped me and my husband in the past.
    I will not even wish you "good luck" because the law is clearly on YOUR side and you will prevail.

  31. That copy is soooo blatant! And for her to do it so obviously is pretty much like a slap in the face. You should engage a lawyer and send a letter to her and HSN as soon as you can before they sell many of her copies.

  32. I am so very sorry you have to go through this! I am also a designer I am would be absolutely devastated if one of my designs would end up copied and sold under another name. I think it should not go unpunished and you have to file a law suit immediately against the company who should have done their research better and Iris.Clearly this is a copy of the design!!!Its absolutely exact copy!
    What is equally upsetting to me is the fact that the name of Iris is behind it. I once created a hat for one of my collections inspired by Iris and this situation make me feel...well, terrible.

  33. As an independent jewelry designer I always wondered what rights we have and how to protect our designs. In the costume jewelry, everyone is constantly copying and trying to make pieces less expensive than the one above. I hope you can get resolution and stop this copy from being mass produced by someone else.

  34. I right now join the group of people that will stop buying at HSN!
    I was planning to go there this week, there is a store close to my home, but I think that I will go to Anthropologie instead. They have a lot more respect for creative people and artists.
    The person who said that Natahalie Hanna Bernhard and her husband are not well known must be living under a rock. There isn't anybody in the world doing with this couple is doing in jewelry. They're amazing artists and true originals. My respects to them.

  35. Well said Nathalie!

  36. I won't be buying from HSN anymore, unless they apologize for their copyright violation as soon as possible. I want to think that they didn't know what they were doing. But for sure Iris did know exactly what she was doing. How disappointing, a lady that I used to admire.

  37. To Iris Apfel: Really? Do you think that nobody was going to notice? Well, you were wrong. So sad. I thought that you were original.

  38. What makes the case worse is that these are one of a kind pieces, not mass produced. You actually may be able to win an IP lawsuit, but if will be the courts decision where they draw the "line of distinction" between the two pins. And I actually love Jane, I follow her on tumblr, MT.Quits, and her blog Sea of Shoes. I won't explain my reasoning again for not liking her ONE you do anything with mermaids? I need a SO for October...?

  39. Not to offend, I'm just a regular person commenting, but the only line of distinction between the two pins is that the original is the real deal and the copy looks pretty cheap. Gosh! They didn't even make an effort to change the colors or anything. This is the most perfect example of a copy.
    I will send a link to this blog:
    That's is a blog that finds cases of copycats out there. This could become their best case ever. People need to see this. How sad.

  40. Dear Nathalie,
    This is a good thing for you to read:
    It comes from the same blog the person above me mentioned.

  41. To the fashion-crazed law student: There's no way you're going to pass the Bar when you don't even understand basic copyright infringement law . . .

    People continents apart come up with the same idea. I'm sure hundreds of jewelry designers have made toucan pins. However, when Iris owns several Hanna Bernhard pieces and "creates" a pin that is almost identical to the one she owns, it's copyright infringement. Plain and simple.

    To Nathalie: Get a lawyer immediately!!!!! Calling up HSN and Iris is probably not going to get the job done. You need to have record of everything, and a lawyer will make sure that you do. Good luck!

  42. I had a similar problem 2 years ago.
    An asian company was selling t-shirts using my designs on them.
    I first called my lawyer. She asked that before we start doing anything I contact the company with my complaint and keep record of the e-mail.
    Surprisingly, they responded immediately, apologized to me and banned the products with my designs from their web-site. It was a miracle.
    So I didn't have to do any legal move.
    I'm sure that HSN has ways to get an e-mail from you with your complaint. Just make sure that the right person in the company gets your e-mail or phone call. I have the feeling that they won't take it lightly. There is a person in charge or marketing and public relations, they know that something like this hurts them so they will more likely do something to clear their image.

  43. That's absolutely horrible to find out your work is being replicated and especially by someone who you thought was a fan of your jewelry. I hope you can move forward and get this situation taken care in the best way possible!

  44. Somehow I think she was wrongly advise. Don´t you??
    So sorry for your creation.
    The only good thing about it is that now, everybody knows you,including me.

  45. sandy thigpenMay 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    well they say that imitation is the highest form of flattery but this is about your business and the beautiful product u represent. i appreciate the fact you are attempting to make excuses for Iris but anyone that has reached this age in life is well aware of right and wrong! this is in every book wrong and i hope u can be rewarded for all your efforts at stopping such an attempt to discredit your good name! i have never met iris but can assure u she is not doing this for the money and if so it is a very sad statement on her life! sanford(sandy) thigpen oh! fine lingerie & vintage couture new orleans la.

  46. This is clearly a case of plagiarism. Natalie, you may want to refer to this website with a very relevant discussion on jewelery copyright issues. It may help you to formulate a strategic approach to this problem.

  47. A few comments above me someone mentioned that they won't go to HSN and will shop at Anthropologie instead, it really made me laugh 'cause Anthropologie steals designs all of the time. They swiped Judy Ross' prints on countless occasions.

    I am really sorry that this is happening. It really does upset me, as a designer and consumer, when companies steal intellectual property. Small businesses seem to be hit the hardest because they don't have the resources to sue. I hope the buzz this is getting can set a president for others. I understand when certain trends or elements catch on and are absorbed by others, though it's still really annoying, but this is such a blatant copy down to the colors and stone shapes and sizes... The copy is so cheap and ugly when compared to the original, it's like buying a knockoff bag in China town, I don't see who would ever want to wear it. I always looked up to Iris, this definitely stings.

  48. really, to the one that tells me I won't pass the Bar (which I already have) this even copyrighted work? does a copyright for this exact pin exist? Maybe you should ask some correct questions before making an assumption...

  49. what and why they copied it.. its not fair..
    Website design Dallas

  50. Please keep us all updated as to how this is going. I follow Jane Aldrige's blog Sea of Shoes and am saddened to hear of this horrific theft of creativity!

  51. Wow, I'd call her a cunt but she obviously lacks the warmth and depth. Sue her. And for every copy sold from HSN.

  52. I'm so glad this turned out ok for you...I don't know if you're planning to take this any further. But if you do; you will hava a lot of support from us fans :D

    I was shocked to read about this. I'm stunned over what some people make themself thieves for.

    I've lost all my respect for Iris Apfel and gained even more for you!!! :D

  53. This is sick. I admire your work very very much but not enough to copy it. I had a "friend" copy what i did to i think it is the feeling you get when it is someone you know. Your items are classic and should in no way be produced into a 22 dollar brooch. I hope you can keep us updated on this!

  54. Shame on Iris! That is so unethical. She is certainly no "friend" if she plagarizes your work. So sorry that you had to experience this betrayal. We hope justice is served. xo style, she wrote

  55. To Svetlana Yachnaya from candleashes: Please don't say things before having the facts. Anthropologie and Judy Ross have worked together. They have done collaboration. It hasn't been the way you lightly describe:
    "Anthropologie steals designs all of the time. They swiped Judy Ross' prints on countless occasions..."
    How irresponsible of you.
    As for Nathalie, I am so happy that the case has been solved!

  56. I liked the HSN design way better than yours. Too bad your complaining got it pulled. Boo.

  57. I take this as a compliment as there was a mistake in attribution on many sites :)
    If not, you have perfectly the right to like one better than the other, but they were not right to copy it anyway.
    There is so much creation everywhere, I am sure you will find something that you like even better !
    Good luck and again thanks to everybody for your support which keeps on coming !:)
    Nathalie Hanna Bernhard

  58. Does anyone not realize this???May 24, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    As much as I believe this is wrong, it is absolutely LAUGHABLE that Jane is calling out Iris for cretive copyright infringement on her blog, but her shoe line for Urban Outfitters was a COMPLETE and ENTIRE copy of designer shoes lines!! What a hypocrite!!

  59. It's an exact knockoff. But you don't own the copyrights to a Toucan head, since it's formed on the idea of an actual animal. Someone buying off the HSN can't afford your version anyways. Just enjoy the publicity while it lasts

  60. That's right, that is why they had to do their own interpretation of a toucan and not copy ours :)
    Our jewelry is hand made and more like 'work of art', so not exactly what is sold on HSN..

  61. Hi, Hanna. I was kind-of excited to buy one of Iris Apfel's necklaces on HSN, knowing nothing about the controversy about your toucan design. Happen to google her before buying, though, and discovered the plagiarism story. I'm sorry you were a victim of this kind of unethical behavior; hope you got some new customers out of it. Though I like her jewelry and can afford it, I can't feel good about buying Apfel's work now. Good luck to you with your lovely designs.

  62. Glad that everything worked out in the end. Now- off to see what else you've designed. Your toucan piece tot. trumps Apfel's, by the way.

  63. The Hanna pin is more beautiful, I must say first. It's so hard to get copyright / patient . All they have to do is just change the piece slightly,and it's theirs. Saks Fith Ave took my portfolio and sent it to New York to approve it so I could have a show at the Tyson Corner Mall in VA. The manager at the time insisted and I went along .it was my first show. The portfolio never came back and months later the ring appeared in their catalog. They had changed TWO 3mm stones!! They denied it and being the little guy I was screwed. It's happened throughout time

  64. I hope you may continue to keep in posting new posts & thank you for sharing your great experience among us.
    wholesale loose diamonds

  65. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Web Development Company in Bangalore | Web Design Companies in Bangalore