While Klum is disappointed at the failed venture, she seems to think it could have been prevented. "Unfortunately, I did have a partner who ... maybe wasn't as knowledgeable in terms of setting up a business," she said, perhaps pointing a finger at Mouawad.
Meanwhile, designer Pascal Mouawad, who's now collaborating with Kelly Bensimon, tells StyleList exclusively, "Heidi and I collaborated together for five years on designing, marketing and distributing a jewelry collection to carry her name. Recently, Heidi decided that she no longer wanted to design jewelry and instead would pursue other goals."
"I worked five years very hard on [the line] ... which I loved doing" the "Project Runway" host tells the Los Angeles Times of her Heidi Klum Collection, which was a collaboration with jewelry giant Mouawad.
"But we stopped because we had a lawsuit with Van Cleef & Arpels. They wanted to have the clover, even though our designs had never matched. I don't know how may designs I had done in five years, maybe 800 different designs -- but they just wanted to own the clover motif.
So they went after everyone who does that -- Louis Vuitton! -- they said, 'We own the clover.' And I was like, 'Then who's the person with the clover and the person with the heart?' I think when you're a small company, which we are, we're not a Van Cleef -- they have a thousand lawyers. I'm a small fry next to that," explains Klum in the LA Times article.
"But you know what? That's how life is. You have to set yourself up from the very beginning properly."
On Mouawad's website it says that Klum's clover designs were "originally inspired by a marble clover-leaf patterned inlay that caught her eye on a trip to the Duomo in Milan." It goes on to say, "Heidi breathed new life into the good luck symbol, using it as a dazzling and versatile leitmotif in her collections."
The Heidi Klum Collection is now being drastically discounted at many retailers.
So what do you think? Is Van Cleef correct to claim rights to the clover? Leave a comment with your opinion.