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Fashion boutique 'House of Zana' throws a celebration after winning trademark battle with Zara

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A small fashion boutique that won a lengthy legal battle with global clothing brand Zara will throw a party to celebrate its high-profile win.

House of Zana, in Darlington, County Durham, was embroiled in a trademark fight after Zara objected to his name for being too similar.

The multi-million pound retailer claimed House of Zana, which specializes in handmade kimonos, was “conceptually identical” and that there was a “high degree of visual and oral similarity” between the two brands.

Amber Kottri, owner of the small, independent clothing store, insisted there were significant differences between her store and the fashion giant.

A tribunal ultimately found the link between the two stores to be “insubstantial” and now Ms. Kottri is hosting a victory party to “toast a toast to independent businesses and how powerful we are when we fight for what we believe in.”

House of Zana owner Amber Kottri (pictured) throws a party to celebrate the high-profile victory in a long-running legal battle with global clothing brand Zara

House of Zana owner Amber Kottri (pictured) throws a party to celebrate the high-profile victory in a long-running legal battle with global clothing brand Zara

Kottri invited everyone to attend the meeting and said on Facebook: 'Let's finally toast to celebrate independent companies and how powerful we are when we fight for what we believe in'

Kottri invited everyone to attend the meeting and said on Facebook: 'Let's finally toast to celebrate independent companies and how powerful we are when we fight for what we believe in'

Kottri invited everyone to attend the meeting and said on Facebook: ‘Let’s finally toast to celebrate independent companies and how powerful we are when we fight for what we believe in’

House of Zana is hosting a ‘fantastic evening of fashion’ in partnership with Darlington Borough Council on the main stage in Darlington Town Center on Wednesday.

The event includes free food, a fashion show, free face painting, music by Finn Forster, in addition to the Northern Shakers Bar, a pop-up boutique and a picture wall and throne.

The celebration, which takes place a few weeks after the trademark victory, commemorates the company’s victory over Zara and serves as an evening of gratitude to everyone who has supported the brand during its legal battle.

“There are plenty of other companies that are going through the same situation as me and I hope this result can give them the strength to realize that it is possible to win,” Ms Kottri said.

“I’m so happy that I won for myself, but also for all the people who supported me – it was unbelievable.”

The event is open to all people. House of Zana promoted the event online, saying: ‘After a long journey and a few stressful years, we are so excited to celebrate our win against ZARA – and of course you are all invited!

“We couldn’t have done it without your support and we look forward to seeing you all at Darlington Market Square on August 31st from 5pm.”

Multi-million pound retailer Zara had claimed that House of Zana, which specializes in handmade kimonos, was “conceptually identical” and that there was a “high degree of visual and oral similarity” between the two brands.

Zara had tried to order Ms. Kottri (pictured in April along with business partner Erin Harper of Rejoy) to change her store's name and objected to her trademark application

Zara had tried to order Ms. Kottri (pictured in April along with business partner Erin Harper of Rejoy) to change her store's name and objected to her trademark application

Zara had tried to order Ms. Kottri (pictured in April along with business partner Erin Harper of Rejoy) to change her store’s name and objected to her trademark application

House of Zana is hosting a 'fantastic evening of fashion' in partnership with Darlington Borough Council on the main stage in Darlington Town Center on Wednesday.  The event includes free food, a fashion show, free face painting, music by Finn Forster, in addition to the Northern Shakers Bar, a pop-up boutique and a picture wall and throne

House of Zana is hosting a 'fantastic evening of fashion' in partnership with Darlington Borough Council on the main stage in Darlington Town Center on Wednesday.  The event includes free food, a fashion show, free face painting, music by Finn Forster, in addition to the Northern Shakers Bar, a pop-up boutique and a picture wall and throne

House of Zana is hosting a ‘fantastic evening of fashion’ in partnership with Darlington Borough Council on the main stage in Darlington Town Center on Wednesday. The event includes free food, a fashion show, free face painting, music by Finn Forster, in addition to the Northern Shakers Bar, a pop-up boutique and a picture wall and throne

Zara had tried to order Ms. Kottri to change her store’s name and objected to her trademark application.

The company claimed that House of Zana’s name was “conceptually identical” to theirs and that the average customer is likely to confuse their two brands.

It also urged House on Zana to remove all branding — but determined to fight her nook and keep her brand, she claimed it would cause “irreparable damage” to her business and bore no resemblance to Zara’s brand name.

During the tribunal, Ms. Kotrri highlighted how her independent local business is smaller and has a different ethos than one of the hottest high-street fast fashion brands.

In a trademark statement by Matthew Williams, “I am convinced that the differences between the brands are sufficient to eliminate the risk of direct confusion on the part of the average consumer.”

Ms Kottri expressed her relief at overcoming the legal challenge last month, saying: “There were days when I was determined that Zara would win, but once I went through all the messages of support and saw all the people signing the petition, I thought:” absolutely not’.

In 2016, a company in Barnard Castle, in County Durham, was forced to change its name ‘Zara Countrywear’ after being threatened by the same company.

In April, Inditex, the owner of Zara, defended its decision to tackle Ms Kotrri.

A Zara spokesperson told MailOnline earlier this month: “While we do not wish to comment on the verdict itself, we continue to wish Ms Kottri and her business success going forward.”

House of Zana first launched its business online in 2018 and specializes in high quality, ethically responsible and sustainable clothing.  Mrs. Kottri is pictured on August 7, 2022

House of Zana first launched its business online in 2018 and specializes in high quality, ethically responsible and sustainable clothing.  Mrs. Kottri is pictured on August 7, 2022

House of Zana first launched its business online in 2018 and specializes in high quality, ethically responsible and sustainable clothing. Mrs. Kottri is pictured on August 7, 2022

The success of House of Zana led to a concept store in Grange Road, Darlington, where it expanded to Teesside Airport and reached a global audience online

The success of House of Zana led to a concept store in Grange Road, Darlington, where it expanded to Teesside Airport and reached a global audience online

The success of House of Zana led to a concept store in Grange Road, Darlington, where it expanded to Teesside Airport and reached a global audience online

House of Zana first launched its business online in 2018 and specializes in high quality, ethically responsible and sustainable clothing.

The success of the concept store in Grange Road, Darlington, has grown it into Teesside Airport and is reaching a global audience online.

Mrs. Kottri, a former Art and Design student, plays a central role in the day-to-day business, from designing clothes to selecting fabrics.

Meanwhile, the word Zana means ‘fairy’ in Albanian – the country where the company was born and has a production studio.

Ms Kotrri said in April: ‘We don’t believe anyone has confused or will confuse House of Zana with Zara. We are a small company specializing in handmade kimonos.

“We have one small concept store in the North East of England and a website to promote our products, while Zara is a globally renowned fashion brand with over 2,000 stores worldwide and a huge collection of products.

“There’s no risk of us confusing ourselves with Zara, so why should a corporate giant be allowed to ban a small business from using a name that is anything but theirs and would lead to the destruction of our brand?

“We know we’re no threat to them, but they can destroy everything we’ve worked so hard for.”