ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An Alaska Native cultural organization is suing luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, saying the Dallas-based company violated copyright and American Indian arts protection laws in selling a knit coat with a geometric design borrowed from indigenous culture.
In the federal lawsuit filed Monday, Sealaska Heritage Institute maintains the retailer falsely affiliated the $2,555 “Ravenstail” coat with northwest coast native artists through the design and use of the term, Ravenstail.
The plaintiffs say the term and style has been associated for hundreds of years with Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes.
The coat made from wool, alpaca, cashmere and nylon is still for sale online despite the lawsuit. The luxury store describes it as an “Alanui “Ravenstail” wool-knitted coat in with geometric intarsia and contrast crochet hem.”
Sealaska seeks unspecified damages and an injunction prohibiting Neiman Marcus from selling the coat, which is made in Italy.