How would you react if Chanel copied your pattern or design? Would you sue for millions of dollars? Well, Mati Ventrillon, a designer from the Shetland Islands in Scotland, didn’t feel the need to take Chanel to court, at least not for now, after Chanel featured a pattern that she designed on its Métiers d’Art show (Friedman, 2015).
How did this happen? Mati Ventrillon posted on her Facebook page that she knowingly sold her garments to two of Chanel’s staff with the understanding the garments will be used for “research” (Friedman, 2015). Yeah! Right! Surely, the two staff used it for research and somehow the same pattern, color palette, and shape of her design ended up with Chanel’s label on them.
When Ms. Ventrillon saw photos of Chanel’s show she took to social media and blasted Chanel for copying her design and not giving her credit. After her post, a political figure from the Shetland Islands, Gary Robinson, tweeted, “Is it time to protect Fair Isle knitwear from this kind of exploitation?” From there, the message spread (social media buzzed) and soon Chanel got the message and eventually apologized. A spokeswoman said, “Chanel recognizes that this situation resulted from a dysfunctionality within its teams, and has presented its apologies. Chanel also recognizes the heritage and know-how of Fair Isle. We wish to emphasize that the house is extremely vigilant in terms of its respect for creativity, whether its own or that of others.” The spokeswoman also said, “Chanel will credit Mati Ventrillon by including the words ‘Mati Ventrillon design’ in its communication tools to recognize her as the source of inspiration for the knitwear models in question” (Friedman, 2015).
OK! Thank you CHANEL for giving credit where credit is due. Great job on correcting this situation that obviously went from 100 to zero real quickly! However, I still have a few questions left.
- When are the two staff members getting fired?
- Who else knew about the replication of the garments? Someone higher up in the chain of command had to approve the patterns before they were sent to the manufacturer right?
- Lastly, can Ms. Ventrillon get paid? Can she get some cash for her designs after all of this “mistakenly copying” situation?
Well, there you have it! Thanks for reading. Follow me on IG: @Rosviestyle
Friedman, V. (2015, Dec. 10). Called Out for Copying, Chanel Does the Right Thing. The New York Times. Retrieved from