Balenciaga's dive into the key rings business reeks of a total rip-off ... so claims the company behind Little Trees air fresheners, which is suing the luxury brand for straight-up jacking its product.
Car-Freshner Corporation -- which owns the rights to Little Trees Air Fresheners -- claims Balenciaga is selling leather key rings that look almost identical to its signature product.
In docs, obtained by TMZ, Little Trees claims it snagged the trademark back in 1952 and its Little Trees are so famous and popular big companies have licensed them ... including Buffalo Wild Wings, Discover Financial Services, Kia Motors and Capital One.
But, Little Trees says Balenciaga never asked for permission and started selling copycats last month at its NYC store and at Neiman Marcus. Little Trees says Balenciaga was so brazen it went as far as copying the specific colors associated with the most popular scents.
Little Trees believes unsuspecting customers will confuse the 2 brands ... and that crosses the legal line. Little Trees wants Balenciaga to fork over the profits from its tree products. BTW ... a 1-pack of Little Trees will set you back around $3 ... whereas Balenciaga's key ring goes for around $275. Hard to imagine anyone mixing up the two.
We've reached out to Balenciaga, so far no word back.