Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet is in authorized scorching water after launching her new job app for creatives, Creatively.
Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, CEO and founding father of the platform SohoMuse, has despatched Bendet and her firm a cease-and-desist, obtained by Web page Six, claiming she launched a “copycat model” of her app.
“Certainly, lots of Creatively’s promotional statements parrot language that SohoMuse has used on its web site and in its promotional decks for years,” the authorized doc reads. “All of the press surrounding the launch of Creatively, in addition to your trademark software, makes clear that every one you could have executed is taken SohoMuse and ‘rebranded’ it.”
Costin is ready to file a lawsuit if Bendet and Creatively don’t both stop and desist fully or take away “all infringing content material” from the platform and its promotional supplies.
Launched in 2017, SohoMuse is a social community for creatives the place they will discover jobs, showcase their work and extra. An insider claims that in 2019, the SohoMuse group reached out to Bendet to hitch its group, pondering she can be a terrific match alongside designers comparable to Nicole Miller and Malan Breton.
Bendet didn’t find yourself becoming a member of SohoMuse however then in Could 2020 launched Creatively, which “she claims she considered one 12 months in the past,” our insider says.
In a side-by-side comparability doc, additionally obtained by Web page Six, SohoMuse compares and contrasts varied statements and claims made by Creatively, together with its description within the App Retailer.
“Creatively’s App Retailer Preview: ‘Designed by creatives and for creatives,” the doc reads, to which SohoMuse responded, “SohoMuse has lengthy acknowledged that it was ‘constructed by creatives for creatives.’”
The doc additionally cites an article on Mashable that states Creatively was constructed “for designers, illustrators, and photographers, LinkedIn simply doesn’t lower it.”
“In November 2017, SohoMuse was described as a ‘LinkedIn for inventive individuals in industries together with style and movie,’” the doc asserts.
“That is nothing greater than a publicity stunt,” a Creatively spokesperson informed Web page Six in an announcement. “Ms. Costin is in search of to capitalize on Creatively’s profitable launch and overwhelmingly optimistic reception by the inventive group by leaking a meritless stop and desist letter to the press. Creatively had by no means even heard of SohoMuse or Ms. Costin previous to getting her lawyer’s letter, and so far as we are able to inform (we’ve by no means really seen her web site, since SohoMuse is subscription-based and invitation-only, in distinction to Creatively’s open mannequin), the 2 platforms are wildly totally different in strategy, accessibility and magnificence.
“In the meantime, Creatively is making connections between creatives and employers at a time of unprecedented unemployment. Disgrace on her for this egocentric act.”
Costin, nevertheless, says she’s open to competing companies, so long as they’re not the identical.
“We’ve definitely seen a handful of opponents enter the market since we launched our SohoMuse beta in 2017, and we’re not against wholesome competitors by any means,” Costin informed Web page Six by way of electronic mail on Friday.
“Upon studying the varied press articles and feedback made by the founders of Creatively, we have been completely shocked by the putting similarities within the verbiage they use to advertise their web site and the record of options and performance they declare to supply …”
“The truth that they declare to be the primary and state that no different web site is doing what they’re doing, after we’ve been doing precisely that (and way more) for a number of years now,” she continued, “is both willfully misleading or they merely didn’t do their market analysis.”
SohoMuse is demanding Creatively adhere to its requests by Friday, Could 22.