Kaftan queen Camilla Franks settles claim with alleged copycat

Australia's reigning kaftan queen, Camilla Franks, has forced a competitor to stop selling several designs that she believes were imitations of her work.

The other brand, Czarina Kaftans, must also stop attaching swing tags to its kaftans with the words "made with love xx", the exact same wording Franks uses on her designs under her label Camilla, which she has been running for 15 years.

Kaftan queen Camilla Franks has settled with a brand she alleged copied her designs and tags.Credit:Gettty Images

Camilla chief executive Jane McNally issued a statement on Monday saying the companies had reached a confidential settlement.

"I can confirm that we are pleased with this outcome," Ms McNally said

"True artistic talent in Australia needs to be nurtured and protected in our ever-evolving, fast moving global cycle of copyright and copycats," she said.

"Protecting our talent is of upmost importance and as a collective fashion industry we need to put pressure on the current Australian copyright laws."

Industry sources said the alleged copying had been occurring for about two years. In that time, Camilla has released collections inspired by her travels to France, Japan and around Australia.

Czarina Kaftans has been contacted for comment.

According to its website, the brand has stores in Paddington, Sydney, Maroochydore, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, and on the Gold Coast.

Ms McNally used the incident to also call for a tightening of intellectual property laws around design, which are currently being reviewed by IP Australia.

Currently, designers seeking to protect their work can can register designs, which can be costly and not always easily protected in a legal battle.

"This needs to be addressed now," Ms McNally said. "Defending intellectual property is of upmost importance to us as a company and as a collective of artists. This is why Camilla will maintain a strict litigious approach to all imitators and to press for further IP reform."

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