Last year, Yoko Ono launched her own bizarre men’s fashion line that most notably featured various illustrations placed on erogenous zones. Now a Brooklyn fashion designer is suing Ono, saying she ripped off the designs from her fetish-inspired sketches.
Haleh Nematzadeh, 36, filed the lawsuit at the Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday, claiming that Ono’s “Fashion for Men: 1969-2002” clothing line ripped off her fetish-inspired clothing line for the Smashing Starlets company.
“They took everything with no shame. They stole from me blatantly. ... They’re trying to put fetish in context, but since when does fetish and John Lennon go together?” Nematzadeh told the New York Post. “When you think of the Beatles, you think of doves and trees, not that.”
While Nematzadeh believes that Ono ripped off off her sexually charged festish wear, Ono maintains that the line was inspired by her late husband. The line supposedly was designed to point out the features Ono found most attractive on Lennon.
According to Ono, her collection, launched last November for Opening Ceremony, was originally conceived as sketches she gave to Lennon as a wedding present in 1969. “I was inspired to create ‘Fashions for Men,’ amazed at how my man was looking so great. I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod,” Ono said in a statement. “So, I made this whole series with love for his hot bod and gave it to him as a wedding present. You can imagine how he went wild and fell in love with me even more.”
Nematzadeh isn’t buying it. Her lawyer Aymen Aboushi, claims that it’s standard practice for larger companies to blatantly steal from struggling designers, and the Ono case is no different.
“They rip off pieces here and there all the time, but you don’t see up-and-coming artists really trying to fight for their rights,” he told the Post.
As of press time, Ono has not released a statement specifically responding to Nematzadeh’s lawsuit.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.