Yoko Ono Now Stealing From Bushwick Designers


  • Photo via Haleh Nematzadeh

In your daily unexpected feud news (and Yoko Ono news and Bushwick news), Ono is being sued by Bushwick-based designer Haleh Nematzadeh, who claims Ono stole designs from her “Gonna Walk the Night” collection and used them for her own collection at Opening Ceremony. The signature look in question? Giant handprints over the genitals, obviously.

“They took everything with no shame,” Nematzadeh told the Post. “They stole from me blatantly.”

For her part, Ono — whose men’s line for the retailer includes pants with a sizable handprint over the crotch — has written in promotional materials that the line is just a tribute to John Lennon. “I was inpsired to create Fashion for Men [because I was] 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 wrote.

“She’s trying to put fetish in context, but since when does fetish and John Lennon go together?” Nametzadeh hit back. “When you think of the Beatles, you think of doves and trees, not that.” Well, fair enough.

According to Nametzadeh’s suit, Ono’s line emerged not too long after a meeting she had with the Opening Ceremony team, which is pretty suspicious, though it’s almost too conceivable that multiple people thought of this exact same design concept. But then, Ono’s crotch-hands do look a whole lot like Nematzadeh’s crotch-hands, and large retailers are notorious for “borrowing” items from small designers, then ripping off the looks for in-house lines. We trust legal minds greater than ours will sort this one out.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


  1. Too bad there’s no copyright protection for fashion designs in the United States, whereas European designers enjoy 10 yrs of protection and Japanese 30 yrs.

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