Celeste Greenberg, who now designs the jewelry line Tuleste Market, claims that the design came from a vintage pendant that she sourced for Bensimon. The two allegedly made a verbal agreement to manufacture replicas of the owl and split the profits. Bensimon, who has produced and sold both pendants (below) and clothing (left) bearing an owl design, denies that that there was any such deal.
The real legal issue, however, may be the provenance of the original pendant. Since jewelry is subject to copyright protection under U.S. law, the initial owl design could belong to someone else entirely, depending on its age and whether it was registered. And, given the potential for publicity-generated profits, the original designer may very well give a hoot.