Antik Batik had claimed property of the designs, which were part of Marant’s spring collection, and accused Marant of plagiarism.
Marant in turn argued that the designs were inspired by the traditional patterns of the Tlahuitoltepec community in the village of Santa María in Mexico, and could therefore not have belonged to Antik Batik in the first place.
“The court not only upheld that the design came from the said village, but that Antik Batik couldn’t claim any property rights on it either,” Marant’s lawyer Jean-Marc Felzenszwalbe told WWD.
Antik Batik has been ordered by the court to pay 3,000 euros, or $3,262 at current exchange, to cover Marant’s legal fees, which Felzenszwalbe called “a symbolic figure,” but he said he would not press for more.
Antik Batik could not be reached for comment.
Felzenszwalbe also rebuked the Tlahuitoltepec’s accusations that the floral design used by Marant was plagiarism. “It’s not a copy, it’s an inspiration. In this village there is plenty of designs that deal with the same vocabulary — same colors and same kind of patterns. Both companies were inspired by them,” he said, referring to Marant and Antik Batik.
He added that Marant is slated to meet with the Mexican ambassador in France this week to discuss a collaboration with the villagers, according to the lawyer.
“The Tlahuitoltepec people have said that they do not want any money, but that their work be recognized,” Felzenszwalbe noted. This could result in an exhibition in Paris highlighting the community’s unique craftsmanship — or a similar project.