'Yoko Ono STOLE my ideas': Fashion designer sues Ono


Yoko Ono is being sued by a New York fashion designer who is accusing John Lennon's widow of shamelessly ripping off her new fetish-inspired clothing line.

Ms Ono, 80, claims her men's range, which includes jock straps and thigh-high boots, is a tribute to the late Beatles singer.

But designer Haleh Nematzadeh, 36, from Brooklyn, claims Ms Ono's design team saw her sketches for a new women's line, tweaked them and then produced the men's clothing range without permission.

Both lines feature see-through garments and items  with suggestive hand-prints around the crotch and chest areas.

Ms Nematzadeh, who owns her own clothing company Smashing Starlets, in Brunswick, said Ms Ono's team 'took everything with no shame'.

She said she had met photographers from retailer Opening Ceremony and that they were supposed to return to photograph the clothes.

But she claims they went to Ms Ono's team, with her Fashion For Men 1969-2012 now available on Open Ceremony's website.

Ms Ono has said her clothes are based on a book of hand-drawn illustrations she presented to her husband on their wedding day and that they are tribute to his body.

A statement on the website reads: 'I was inspired to create Fashion 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.'

Ms Nematzadeh, who filed the suit in Brooklyn federal court on Friday, dismissed this as a 'feeble attempt' to claim the designs as her own.

She added: 'She’s trying to put fetish in context, but since when does fetish and John Lennon go together? When you think of the Beatles, you think of doves and trees, not that.'

Her lawyer, Aymen Aboushi, said it is not unusual for big companies to copy independent designers.

He added: 'They rip off pieces here and there all the time, but you don’t see up-and-coming artist really trying to fight for their rights.'

Ms Ono's range includes items costing up to $595 and is described as 'limited edition'.

The Japanese artist and peace activist, who married John Lennon in 1969, is yet to comment on the case.