British luxury furniture brand Jimmie Martin has sent a legal notice to Amina Rashid Khan of Raka Events in Pakistan for what it says is imitating their aesthetic for one of Karachi’s most talked about events: the Kidney Centre fund-raising brunch.
The brunch, which took place at Beach Luxury Hotel earlier in January, is one of the city’s most-awaited events with fancy food, décor and the city’s elite in attendance. Seats go for Rs15,000 and this year, more than 700 people attended.
Jimmie Martin representative in Pakistan, Sana Chaudhry, confirmed to a digital channel that her clients had sent Raka Events a notice for what it said was copying their work and using their name on an invitation without giving prior their knowledge or asking for consent.
“It is absolutely and unequivocally a theft of someone’s intellectual property,” she said. “They are a well-known duo who handmade their products. Their art is synonymous only with their names. No one else in the world does this type of art. They have big celebrities, royalty and a lot of Pakistani clients too.”
Trying to reach out to Amina Rashid Khan from Raka Events for comment but she did not respond. A representative from the Kidney Centre said that they didn’t have anything to do with what was happening.
The designers make customized furniture with handpainted artwork, lamps, cushions and wallpaper. Their clients, as per their website (https://jimmiemartin.com/) include: Madonna, Liam Gallagher, Surrey Hotel, Selfridges among others.
In a video shared with SAMAA, Jimmie of Jimmie Martin said that he just wanted to set the record straight for their clients.
“There was a charity event held in Karachi for the Kidney Centre by Amina Rashid Khan. The brunch’s theme was perfect imperfection and the majority of the décor was replications of our hard work and furniture. Neither the Kidney Centre nor the event manager reached out to us to inform us about this or asked for our permission before reproducing our work,” he said.
“The invitation cards for the brunch also had a completely fabricated quote attached to our name. Once again, our name was printed on the card itself without our consent or knowledge. We reached out to Amina [Khan] and were given vague responses after which, she did not respond,” he added.
The designer claimed that it had taken them 16 years in the business to make their name and this incident had let their clients down. According to him, they were also being harassed by people known to the event organisers.
“They think we are pursuing legal action just for payday,” said Jimmie. “For us, it’s a matter of principle. Our work is our pride and it was stolen from us.” He added that if they had been contacted, they would have happily contributed to the charity and helped collaborate.
Their lawyer Jawaid Mir confirmed that the legal notice had been received. He told that he had asked the event organiser and Kidney Centre to apologise and hand over the counterfeit pieces.
The designers also posted on social media about how they felt. According to an Instagram story shared from the official @jimmiemartin account, they posted screenshots from the event.
View this post on Instagram
So finding myself yesterday and today having conversations with myself (like in this pic haha) about how to go ahead with the news that hit us that our brand and designs has been copied at a big event in Pakistan. This all happen as I was in Paris yesterday walking around sourcing for our current and upcoming interior projects. So thought I d post from the stand at Maison Objet a few years ago when I first launched our naughty angels which has been a huge success! May even be doing the show next year again… we shall see.. was fun seeing old friends and brands around the show! You know who you are. #maisonobjet2020 #maisonobjet #mo20 #mo2020 #interiordesign #designfair #tradefair #pose #angel #instagay #selfie #designerslife #designer #luxurylifestyle #paris #dontfuckwithme 😝
They shared responses from their Pakistani fanbase in an Instagram story. Jimmie said: “I have Instagram followers and fans who were invited to the event and also existing VIP clients who started tagging me and questioning what was going on.” He was sent videos as well. “They could clearly see that the pieces were not my pieces but my name was on the invite and on some of the artworks,” he added.
The brand’s representative in Pakistan said that they are a well-known brand locally with a solid clientele in Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.