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When Dolce goes bananas

A Hout Bay jewellery and purse-making business that employs local residents has incurred the wrath of fashion house Dolce & Gabbana for having a similar brand name.

The Italian company filed papers in the Western Cape High Court, demanding that Dolce & Banana change its name.

Mijou Beller was forced to change the name of her business. Photo: Cindy Waxa. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Mijou Beller, 60, the owner of Dolce & Banana (which has been changed to ... & Banana) said

: “On January 17, they scheduled a court date and we didn’t oppose changing the name.”

Beller said she first heard from the fashion empire six years ago. “They were not happy with the name of my business,” she said.

“Then I got my own lawyer to tell them that they don’t have a trademark on jewellery. There are no Dolce & Gabbana stores in SA.”

She said she didn’t hear from the company again until the end of November last year.

“They want me to pay their legal costs (R100 000), but I cannot afford it.”

Beller said she had already paid between R10 000 and R15 000 to change the branding.

Beller, who is French and has been living in SA for several years, said she had wanted “a glamorous name with an African feel to it”. - Cape Argus

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