Diana Rubio designed the "Everything Backpack" in 2010 while at Manhattan's Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Now 33, she graduated from FIT in 2011 with an associate’s degree in accessories, according to the New York Post. As part of her coursework, the New York Daily News reported, the school assigned Rubio to enter Barnes & Noble's "Back to Campus" contest.
Rubio's bag won the contest and became a popular item. It still sells for $39.95. The Barnes & Noble website and a tag on the backpack both identify Rubio as its designer. But Rubio says in a lawsuit that she has never received any money. For its part, Barnes & Noble said that it pays royalties to FIT, and that the matter was something that should be ironed out between Rubio and the school.
“Protection of the creative rights of FIT students is a foremost concern of the college," read a statement that was issued by FIT. "Although we have not been formally served with the lawsuit, we are aware of it, and we have begun our fact finding to learn the circumstances and, if appropriate, do right by Ms. Rubio.”