Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet is calling out fellow fashion industry maven Steve Madden after a tense (expletive-filled) exchange in a hotel lobby after she accused him of copying her designs.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Bendet, 41, prefaced the video by saying she usually has her “feed filled with positivity, female empowerment and the beautiful clothes my team and i are so proud to create.” But after her encounter with Madden, 62, she felt compelled to share “this example of bullying, copying and overall disrespect toward creativity and women.”
As Bendet began filming her conversation with Madden on her phone, he can be first overheard saying, “Honey if you’re going to be rude you can go f—k yourself.” Bendet replied, “Yeah? You said if I’m not copying people I’m not doing a good job? That was you.”
“You can go f—k yourself. Okay. You copy people all the time,” Madden fired back. “I have it trademarked branded Stace,” Bendet said in response to Madden’s claim about her signature Alice + Olivia StaceFace design.
In her lengthy now-deleted caption, Bendet continued: “@stevemadden launches a verbal assault on me in a hotel lobby — he said hello and complimented 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!”
While she deleted the interaction with Madden from her Instagram feed, Bendet did make another statement on her Instagram Story about the response she got from sharing the video.
“I just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support I received this morning since I posted the video of Steve Madden cursing at me in front of my 4-year-old in a hotel lobby when I called him out for copying so many of my StaceFace designs,” she said. “And you know in truth as a person I think he just showed his true colors, which is like full-on pig.”
Madden and Bendet’s feud sparked in December 2018 when Alice + Olivia sued Betsey Johnson (which is owned by the Steve Madden parent company) for copyright infringement over using the image of a woman wearing round sunglasses and red lipstick. According to TMZ, the two companies reached a confidential settlement in June 2019.
PEOPLE has reached out to Alice + Olivia and Steve Madden’s teams for comment.
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