Tag: Current Events

Louboutin’s Red-Soled Shoes Win Trademark in EU Court | Bloomberg

Christian Louboutin Nude Pumps

French designer Christian Louboutin won a fight over trademark protection for his iconic red-soled stiletto shoes in Europe.

The ruling by the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg said the color isn’t covered by limits on trademark protection for the shapes of products. EU trademark law includes such a ban when the shapes are purely functional.

The decision is a boon to fashion houses and brands that use color to stand out from the competition. The decision is totally at odds with the advice from a court aide, who said Louboutin’s red soles could potentially be affected by the prohibition.

“This could be a landmark case of considerable value for those brands who use distinctive colors as part of their trademarks and a blow to competitors looking to mimic their products,” said John Illsley, a London-based director at accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

“The commercial impact is that brands that have invested heavily in branding and product positioning based on distinctive trademarks should be able to protect their brands against competitors seeking to gain an unfair advantage,” he said.

A mark consisting of a color applied to the red sole of a shoe “is not covered by the prohibition of the registration of shapes,” the EU judges said in their decision.

The case will go back to a court in The Hague, which had sought the EU tribunal’s advice in a dispute between the French fashion designer and a Dutch retail shoe shop that started selling red-soled women’s shoes, arguing that Louboutin should never have gotten a trademark protection in the first place.

The ruling strengthens Maison Christian Louboutin’s trademark protection, the French company said in a statement.

“For 26 years, the red sole has enabled the public to attribute the origin of the shoe to its creator, Christian Louboutin.”

The Dutch court will be bound by Tuesday’s EU court decision. Louboutin said it expects the tribunal “to confirm the validity of the red sole trademark.”

— Read on www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-12/don-t-step-on-louboutin-s-red-soled-shoes-eu-court-says

RIP Kate Spade

Kate Spade Portrait

Kate Spade was found dead this morning.

According to The New York Times, the police said that Ms. Spade, 55, was discovered unresponsive at a Park Avenue apartment. She had left a note, but the official did not comment on what it said. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:26 a.m.

I’m devastated. Her designs made so many women feel their most confident and classic. There are very few designers who understand what modern women need and want—Kate was able to do that.

Kate Spade was one of the first female American contemporary designers in the 1990s, who built a brand on the appeal of clothes and accessories that made women smile. Known for her aesthetic, with her proto-1960s bouffant, nerd glasses and kooky grin, she designed a wide range of colorful dresses, handbags and jewelry–all with a touch of humor.  Kate Spade was decidedly modern, built on living colorfully, and with whimsy.

Kate hadn’t been involved with Kate Spade New York in years, but as the founder of the brand (along with her husband, Andy), she certainly made her mark on the fashion world and dressed millions of women in her preppy-with-attitude clothes, handbags, and jewelry.

Kate Spade handbags were distinctive for their modern look, pops of color and utilitarian shapes, and often, “sassy but classy”.

One of my own Kate Spade bags:

Kate Spade Quilted Flap Bag

Kate’s suicide–a tragic loss–serves as reminder that depression doesn’t discriminate based on success and worth. It doesn’t matter how much money or fame we have (or don’t) or how happy we look.

I hope Kate’s spirit is at peace and rest now. My condolences to the loved ones she left behind.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for a list of additional resources.

Chanel Sues Reseller What Goes Around Comes Around

Fashionista reported today that Chanel has sued reseller What Goes Around Comes Around for selling mock Chanel mirrors and memorabilia with unauthorized usage of their logo.

What Goes Around Comes Around has brick and mortar stores in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons, but maybe more known for having an e-commerce site that sells a lot of secondhand Chanel. Like, pages and pages of vintage Chanel.

Fashionista.com reports:

The luxury fashion house filed a lawsuit against WGACA in New York on Wednesday alleging counterfeiting and trademark infringement, false advertising, unfair competition and false endorsement. Among Chanel’s claims are that WGACA is misleading its customers into believing it has an official relationship with Chanel. According to the filing, WGACA “has attempted to deceive consumers into falsely believing that Defendant WGACA has some kind of approval of or relationship or affiliation with Chanel or that Chanel has authenticated WGACA’s goods in order to trade off of Chanel’s brand and good will.” The filing points out that WGACA “purports to sell genuine Chanel-branded point-of-sale items including, tissue box covers, trays, and mirrors, which are not authorized for sale to the public by Chanel,” and that Chanel “has explicitly refused WGACA’s requests to enter” into an official relationship or affiliation.

Okay, so they were pissed about a few things, but especially WGACA selling “Chanel-branded” mirrors, trays, and tissue box covers (primary used for decor in the home, of course) that were originally used at cosmetic counters.

I wonder if now that Chanel as a brand understands the magnetism of their CC’s as design elements, they could branch out into home decor.

It would be on-brand, after all. Coco was always designing everything, especially her suite at the Ritz Paris, where she lived from 1934 until her passing in 1971. Designed with the style and sophistication Coco Chanel is known for, the massive suite has that elegant Chanel touch with opulent furnishings—think lacquered screens, gilded mirrors, and a velvet banquette.

So maybe home decor could be good—find the Chanel girl and let her design her life just as Chanel would have wanted to live hers: surrounded in opulence with an homage to humble beginnings; a nod to the past with an appreciation for luxury.

Anyway, back to the lawsuit.

Fashionista.com continues to explain

Other alleged offenses include using Chanel marketing materials, images of Chanel-brand products, Chanel advertisements and trademarks on social media, using the hashtag #WGACAChanel and guaranteeing authenticity on items that are not guaranteed by Chanel. Chanel also says it has learned that WGACA has sold counterfeit items, including a handbag and a fake Chanel-branded tissue box cover.

Chanel is using trademark law here because the fashion house thinks that what with all of the luxury branding that’s being used by WGACA, there’s going to be a likelihood of confusion for consumers,” says Above the Law editor Staci Zaretsky. “There’s no relationship to speak of between the two companies, so WGACA’s continued use of Chanel branding is almost offensive.”

Oops. I think this implies that resellers need to be careful when marketing to consumers (especially online) that the item they are buying is secondhand and not related to Chanel’s brand by any means.

I don’t know who in would have had the idea that What Goes Around Comes Around and any other reseller/consignment shop that sells secondhand items would be associated with the brands they sell.

Is Chanel going to sue every other second hand site? I can’t blame them from wanting to make people purchase solely from them but I don’t think they can stop people from reselling.

Lesson learned? Maybe, but probably not.

Knowingly selling fakes is illegal, especially at the prices that authentic Chanel items go.

Unfortunately, despite best efforts from brands, lawyers and government agencies alike, counterfeiting is still a huge business; maybe even more with Instagram and WatsApp making it so easy. I get at least 10 followers day that sell “inspired by” designer bags.

It’s not just online. In Asia, there were stores wall to wall with counterfeit, designer inspired “Louis Vuitton” bags. Stall after stall in alleyways in Marrakech, Morocco, there they were too. On a main shopping street in Mexico, I counted at least two stands with counterfeit bags.

I understand Chanel defending their brand… but picking on a reputable company that’s selling authentic Chanel products (handbags, etc.) and a few novelty items (Chanel tissue boxes) seems a little like low-hanging fruit.

Maybe going after the larger company offers better safety against potential customers that may think less of Chanel if they have a bad experience with What Goes Around Comes Around?

I’m not sure. Either way, counterfeiting sucks.