Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rihanna sues Topshop for T-shirts.

Musical superstar Rihanna is suing British fashion retailer Topshop for $5 million dollars for selling t-shirts bearing her image  from the 'We Found Love' video. She hired a London legal team to plead her case before Her Majesty's High Court of Justice. The case is currently in the pretrial phase.

The t-shirt has been on sale since the end of last year. And when Ri-Ri found out about it, she and TopShop  negotiated for eight months regarding the rights to her image. But all hell broke lose when Topshop offered the popstar a low $5000. I'm guessing that's when she hit them with the "hell naw" and sued  them.

But the true question is what issue will Rihanna plea? In the U.S., this case is a common 'Right to Publicity" case. This case arises when a person's image, person, or personality is commercially appropriated without that person's permission. This happens to celebrities and other famous people all day everyday.

 HOWEVER, the U.K. does not have such a lawsuit. WWD reports that in the U.K. "anyone who legally purchases an image can use it, unless it is trademarked." So in order to sue, Ri-Ri's lawyers would have to prove that the Topshop T-shirt portrayed her as "endorsing" the brand.

Rihanna already has a fashion line at Topshop's competitor River Island. So we can count them out as a viable duo for a  future fashion collaboration.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I'm "Supreme Bitch!" Supreme vs Married to the Mob. Oh the Irony

Rihanna wearing a Supreme Bitch hat
Here at Fashion Legallaire, we love a good fashion law fight. Why? Because soon, justice will be served. Either in a settlement or in court. Today's fight is a $20 million law suit over the T-shirt design "Supreme Bitch" and is brought to you by Supreme and Married to the Mob, two casual fashion gurus in their own right. Sticking to fashion law roots, this fight is a common intellectual property battle over trademark rights.

The Scoop: In 2004 Married to the Mob (M to M) bore the brand "Supreme Bitch" for it's first brand collection. The logo, which celebrates male-dominated streetwear subculture has been a celebrated for over 10 years. However, Supreme founder James Jebbia says that MtoM's t-shirt design infringes on his trademark rights.

BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE! IRONICALLY, when M to M initially released his shirt, Jebbia stocked it in his store. And as any initial start up fashion company should and would do (see article on forming a fashion start-up business), M to M has a filed trademark application for Supreme Bitch, New York Magazine Reports.  And even though it was only about 2 weeks ago (ha!), she still filed it.

M to M founder Leah McSweeney has publicly responded via her blog in response to Jebbia's accusations:

As some of you may have heard, Supreme is suing me for $10 million over my “Supreme Bitch” design. I’ve been using this design since the first MOB collection in summer 2004. I even sold it as a tee at Union, a store owned and managed by Supreme’s founder James Jebbia, who gave the design his blessing. Now, he’s claiming that the design infringes his trademark rights.
Unlike some companies that blatantly rip-off other brand logos, Married To The Mob has always had its own identity and aesthetic by being an extension of my life experiences. I started this company when I was 22 and have come a long way without a piggyback ride from anyone.
Supreme Bitch is one design of many; one slogan of many. And the use of the design has always been to make fun of the misogynistic vibe of Supreme and the boys who wear it.
Bottom line is this: I don’t think Supreme should be able to squash free speech or my right to utilize parody in my design aesthetic. It’s one of the most powerful ways for me to comment on the boy’s club mentality that’s pervasive in the streetwear/skater world. The fact that Supreme is coming after MOB and me personally is just another example of the hostility that MOB — the first women’s street wear brand — has faced from Day 1. And it’s why the Supreme Bitch message is so important.
Civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel agreed to take my case and act as co-counsel along with Edward Rosenthal of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC, a law firm that specializes in trademark issues. This isn’t a fight I went out looking for, but I have no choice other than to fight back. Because right now, it’s about more than just a t-shirt!

So we carry the "enemies" t-shirt line in our store for a 10 years and then sue? Well  that doesn't make sense. Unless Jebbia is indirectly saying that he didn't believe that M to M would thrive as the successful line that it is now. Oh that's exactly what he said. According to NY Mag, Supreme says, "M to M's shirts aren't just logo appropriation, they are trying to build her whole brand by piggybacking off Supreme." Further Supreme founder Jebbia thought was just going to be a shirt turned into towels, hats, mugs, and mouse pads. Jebbia has since demanded M to M remove the offending items from retailers such as Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters. Now who is offending who?

Also, NY mag also reports that Mcsweeney says she does not have $250,000 to litigate this case and Jebbia knows that. Jebbia could just be playing his chess pieces to win in this fight.

We will keep you posted!

P.S. Special thanks to Raja Singh J.D. for the inspiration.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Great Gatsby, Fashion, and Canne.

So The Great Gatsby came out last Friday and instead of watching it, I just decided to re-read it. Well the way my U.S. secondary school education account is set up (Kevin Hart joke), I did not gain the necessary elements from this great classic the first time. So I'd rather read it again in my mid-twenties and understand the love life of the rich folk in the 20's. :). (Side Rant, I must reread many classics that were mandatory in school, because when forced to read in an academic setting, the fun is taken away and all I came away with was just enough to ace the quiz or exam).

So any who, the premier was in beautiful Canne, a dreamy destination adorned by fashion and the Mediterranean. To say that I love Canne is an understatement. My time there was filled with the beach, shopping, gyros, European salads, and wine. To top it off, I got to stay in my hotel. Yes, the Stephanie Palace. After all, Stephanie does mean royalty.

All photos of Solange courtesy of

Here is the beautiful Solange Knowles, never short of amazing when it comes to fashion and music. She definitely exemplifies the movie and South France in her Nude Stephane Rolland dress, tangerine lips/nails, and champagne gold accessories. :)

Now a trip down memory lane of me in Canne. Join me will you.

Your Truly of course, chillin on the Mediterranean. 

Me on the Meditterranean

My namesake Hotel

We know France is A1 when it comes to fashion

orange nails and parrot ring :)