They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure that holds true where business ventures are concerned! Especially when it comes to Bethenny Frankel and her booze! Did Sonja Morgan just step on some Skinnygirl toes?
Sonja, who has dabbled in a zillion or two businesses from Nigerian football teams to French floral arrangements, is now joining the ranks of Real Housewives hawking liquor. Sonja and a business partner just announced their new liquor brand, Tipsy Girl, but she is facing major backlash for choosing a name that sounds eerily similar to Bethenny’s Skinnygirl.
Oh this will be quite the story on Real Housewives Of New York!
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We’ve already reported that Sonja feels ostracized from her co-stars – but have they been boycotting her events?! Sources blame a cutthroat business atmosphere and an acrimonious contract dispute over money for the snubs – but are those the ONLY reason?!
Sonja’s co-stars skipped a previous magazine launch party – even after their tireless support for her fashion line. Last week Sonja celebrated her birthday at Canoe Studios, where she debuted Tipsy Girl prosecco! Although Page Six claims none of Sonja’s Real Housewives Of New York co-stars made an appearance, pictures prove Luann de Lesseps and Dorinda Medley were there. However, Sources tell Page Six they worry Sonja’s new foray into the ‘girl’ liquor business will cause strife with Bethenny!
Luann attends Sonja’s Tipsy Girl birthday party, which was filmed for RHONY!
“Skinnygirl, Tipsy Girl? Sounds pretty similar!” commented an insider, who was anxious about Bethenny’s reaction. Bethenny already called Sonja and the like “hogs” going to slaughter… Cause she’s so above the rest!
Bethenny famously sold the rights to her booze to Jim Beam in 2010 for an unverified millions, proceeds she split with her business partner and is seeming to slowly be shelling out in her never-ending divorce to Jason Hoppy. Booze was just the tip of the iceberg where Skinnygirl products were concerned! Bethenny now helms her own multi-million dollar Skinnygirl empire – but is Sonja infringing on her turf?
Sonja’s business partner Peter Guimares defends the name of the brand and claims it has been trademarked for years – long before Skinnygirl hit the big time! Peter has previously worked with Ramona Singer as well, but it didn’t work out long-term.
Peter isn’t worried about legal issues related to Skinnygirl, nor Bethenny’s reaction. In fact Peter is more concerned negative feedback the ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE is getting for over the name Tipsy Girl, which has some critics complaining it promotes “drunkeness.” Maybe this is stating the obvious, but isn’t that kind of the point? I don’t drink coffee merely for the flavor. And I drink prosecco merely for the bubbles!
Peter insists the word ‘Tipsy’ has many connotations: “You can be tipsy in love . . . tipsy in life. It’s hypocrisy. If you pay $18 for a cocktail in Manhattan and it’s all juice, you’re going to be unhappy.”
Dorinda spotted at Sonja’s birthday party.
As for the future of Tipsy Girl, Peter says there are plans to “officially launch” the prosecco later this year, which will be followed by tequila, vodka, and wine in “casual retail locations” throughout NYC and other cities.
Bethenny’s rep has no comment, at this time.
Luann also has plans to launch Countess Collection Vodka. As for Bethenny she just took a tea company to court for marketing a product called Skinnygirl Tea, which Bethenny claims is an infringement on her brand – especially since she also produces a Skinnygirl tea.
Hey – maybe two can play this game and Bethenny can start marketing her own smokey eye and updo, and venture into the venture of PR – she promotes people. All her life…
Meanwhile in other Real Housewives Of New York gossip, Bethenny may have another copycat because Ramona is being dubbed “Sorry Girl.” This season she’s on yet another campaign to be nicer and has been apologizing incessantly, prompting her co-stars to dub her “Sorry Girl.” I suppose it’s better than Pinot Winebatross.
TELL US – IS TIPSY GIRL KNOCKING OFF SKINNYGIRL?
[All Photo Credits: IZZY/WENN.com]