Steve Madden and Alice + Olivia CEO Stacey Bendet got into a public argument over the weekend when the two accused each other of creating knockoff designs. Bendet posted the heated exchange on Instagram and the video has since made waves online.
The dispute appeared to have taken place in a hotel lobby, where Bendet said she was accompanied by her four-year-old daughter when she ran into Madden, who is founder, creative and design chief of his eponymous footwear and accessories conglomerate. Madden, said Bendet, complemented her outfit. Then, she asked him “if he was going to continue to copy it like he did with my trademarked Stace designs,” Bendet’s said in her social media post.
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In the video, Madden is heard responding, “Honey, if you’re going to be rude, you can go f**k yourself. … You copy people all the time. We were making faces way before you.”
In the now-viral exchange, Bendet was likely referencing a lawsuit her company filed in 2018 against the Steve Madden-owned Betsey Johnson label for copyright and trademark infringement. The Betsey Johnson company was acquired by Madden in 2010. In the 2018 suit, Alice & Olivia had accused Betsey Johnson of using Bendet’s signature face, the “StaceFace,” on its bags.
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I usually have my feed filled with positivity, female empowerment and the beautiful clothes my team and i are so proud to create—-but today I am posting this example of bullying, copying, and overall disrespect toward creativity and women—-@stevemadden launches a verbal assault on me in a hotel lobby—-he said hello and complemented my outfit and I asked him if he was going to continue to copy it like he did with my trademarked stace designs 🤷♀️—-you can see him lose his temper and become aggressive using vulger language all while my four year old screams mommy in the background——I am sharing this because his behavior is not acceptable in business or life—-he could have apologized or showed some remorse—but no, he responds with intimidation—we can’t stop bullies unless we stand up to them!!! I hope what my daughters learned was how you never let a man or anyone) speak to you this way!