They’re making a Killing! Jumper’s designers take copycats to task

Designers of famous knitwear worn by Sarah Lund sue shop in Denmark

The show itself may be over, but the intrigue surrounding Danish detective programme The Killing looks likely to endure. Designers of the famous jumper worn by leading character Sarah Lund have demanded that a shop stops selling knitwear kits which help fans to make their own replicas.

Gudrun & Gudrun, which came up with the sweater made famous by actress Sofie Gråbøl, has demanded £1,100 in damages from the shop in Jutland, Denmark, according to reports. They claim that Stof og Sy (Fabric and Sewing) is benefitting from their design.

Customers have been buying the DIY knitting kit and recreating the famous jumper, which the store’s owner Lene Langballe replicated from sight when watching the first series. They can get their hands on all they need to make their own for £40, while a Gudrun & Gudrun original costs £240.

Ms Langballe said: “It said nothing in the credits about who had made the jumper so I just knitted a nice jumper based on what I saw on TV. So therefore it’s very similar, there is no secret about that.”

The Killing’s initial success soon spread internationally, making it one of the most well-received shows on British television. The finale of its third and final series was aired in mid-December last year, with producers deciding to end on a high as they appeared to begin to run out of ideas which could maintain their surprising success.

After what seemed an unlikely jaunt into Afghanistan in the show’s second series, fans were not disappointed by the third, which saw Lund back investigating the case of another family dealing with the loss of a daughter.

Her performances, among others made The Killing one of the few television programmes from a non-English-speaking nation to find a natural hone in Britain.

And the original designers looked to capitalise on that popularity. They argued that copies of their Faroese fisherman’s jumper design were having a negative impact on their brand image.

“A knitwear pattern can seem a bit trivial, but design is a slightly strange product. We all agree that you can’t steal but when it comes to a knitwear design then they find it hard to see all the development work behind it. If a grandmother decides to knit a jumper for her grandchild, we have no problem with that whatsoever... but there’s a long way from that to benefiting financially directly from our jumpers,” Gudrun Rógvadóttir told The Guardian.

Reports suggested that lawyers have been involved in negotiations over the issue since November – before the series was aired for the last time on British television – but no agreement has been reached.

Gudrun & Gudrun will be taking their design to London Fashion Week and Ms Rógvadóttir spoke of her pride, saying she hoped the famous jumper would raise attention to the rest of the collection. “We would love to be known for more than those who made that jumper for Sofie Gråbøl,” she said.

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