Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Blake Lively Chosen As Chanel Ambassador

In news that will likely make the masses of Gossip Girl fans run to Chinatown for the closest Chanel knockoff, The Cut Blog reports that Karl Lagerfield has asked Blake Lively (star of the teen drama) to be a Chanel ambassador for Chanel's Mademoiselle handbag line.

Karl Lagerfield explains that Blake Lively is "a kind of American dream girl." From her effortlessly tousled hair, mile long legs, and easy smile, she inspires the love (and envy) of young women everywhere. There is no doubt that the campaign ad that features Blake Lively with a particular Chanel purse will turn that purse into the most wanted counterfeit item in America.

Blake Lively perhaps can explain why regular girls may flock to buy the fake: it is a brand that is "timeless, chic, graceful, intelligent, iconic and ever relevant." While it remains safe to say that a fake can never be those things, it doesn't stop some girls from trying.

Perhaps it is because of the magic that some designer pieces inspire. Blake Lively describes a Chanel purse in these words: "I will always feel it’s more than just a purse. It’s a quilted case full of lipstick, love letters and the dreams and possibilities that I have always felt every time I see that beautiful ‘CC.’?"

However, even though Blake Lively claims that she will carry it "like every girl," it is safe to say that at an average price of easily thousands of dollars, average girls may just have to dream.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Flea Markets: The New Fashion Fakes Hot Spot?

USA Today reports on a startling new trend; flea markets riddled with fashion fakes. While most shoppers know that they can find fashion fakes in places like Canal Street in NYC or Bangkok, they are turning to a place closer to home: their local flea market.

However, those fashion fakes may be more trouble than shoppers bargain for. First, law enforcement officials stress that not only do fashion fakes usually mean poor quality, it also helps fund criminal activities. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has cases that link the sale of counterfeit goods to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.

The final issue with buying fashion fakes? It hurts the U.S. economy. It is estimated that the sale of counterfeit goods costs the U.S. economy at least $200 billion in revenue and at least 750,000 in jobs. So the next time you are tempted to buy that faux Valentino satchel, just think about how it will affect the economy. In fact, almost 80% of fashion fakes are smuggled into this country from China and are unregulated.

So the next time you stroll your flea market and come across an unbelievable fashion steal, just remember that it could be more trouble than its worth.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Raids Reveal Counterfeit Goods Intended For Holiday Sales

The LA Times reports that the Los Angeles Police Department seized over $4 million dollars worth of counterfeit goods. Some of the counterfeit goods seized were music CDs, DVDs of movies currently in theaters such as Tron, and fashion counterfeit goods. The raids were done in conjunction with LA's antipiract task force as well as investigators from private industries.

Why should holiday shoppers care? According to City Controller Wendy Greuel, People who make counterfeit goods are stealing, plain and simple. This should serve as a wake-up call, not only to criminals that produce and sell these goods, but to all holiday shoppers out there."

Holiday shoppers looking for a bargain should beware that buying counterfeit goods actually fuel dangerous activities in their own communities. For example, buying counterfeit goods can help fund criminal gangs. It also costs local businesses close to $5.2 billion in lost revenue and $4.4 billion in lost wages each year.

Here are some tips that can help you avoid unwittingly buying a knockoff:

  • Buy from well known retailers or local retailers listed on a brand's website.
  • Be wary of "deals" that require purchases with cash.
  • Look at the item in question for any loose stitching or shoddy workmanship.
Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Louis Vuitton's Fight Against Google Means Protected Keywords

It seems like the Europeans take Google Adwords very seriously. Louis Vuitton's fight against Google has taken it to the European Justice Court in Luxembourg; which has ruled that the search engine giant Google will have to keep track of the use of trademarked keywords that link back to advertisements on its site.

While the court held that Google did not violate the trademark law when it sold protected keywords, it did say that websites are liable for any trademark violations in the ads if they were aware of it, or had control over the data. This may place an undue burden on Google to monitor its ads.

This ruling in favor of a company defending its trademark in the realm of ad keywords is the first of its kind. Louis Vuitton, which is a part of the luxury company LMVH, will most likely use this ruling in order to battle other websites such as EBay. In fact, Mr. Pierre Gode, vice-president of Paris-based LVMH is quoted by BusinessWeek as saying: LVMH will use the ruling “to show that online referencing services such as Google and EBay do play an active and not a passive role.”

What was Google's response to this decision? According to the Los Angeles Times, the search engine giant Google released the following statement: "This long-awaited decision will be welcomed by the business community as well as by consumers. It confirms and emphasizes the critical role played by trademarks in a dynamic economy to protect innovation and the investments carried out by businesses, and will avoid confusion on behalf of consumers as to the quality of the products and services they are buying."

Do you think that the U.S. courts would rule like this? Hmmm something to think about when you are trolling the internet for that special Louis Vuitton Speedy.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Filene's Store Gets Told to Eff Off Because of Fendi

Does anyone remember how Samantha from Sex and the City buys a fake Fendi bag? It was interesting because the term "fake Fendi" was then used to describe anything that was a sham. This was because of Charlotte crying that her marriage was a "fake Fendi".

Here is a clip in case you forgot about this famous scene in Sex and the City here.

Well perhaps that may have been why the Italian fashion house of Fendi asked the court for an injunction against the Filene's store known as Filene's Basement to stop selling accessories bearing Fendi's name or trademark without its permission. According to Reuters, a Manhattan federal judge has granted that injunction request this week. Fendi is seeking to clear the market out of any "fake Fendi" accessories.

Fendi recently battled the retailer Burlington Coat Factory for selling counterfeit Fendi goods. This month has been particularly litigious for fashion houses in NYC. As we wrote about earlier, Burberry sued TJ Maxx. Coach sued K-Mart and LVMH is suing Hyundai over trademark violations.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Burberry Company Wins $1.5 Million Dollar Award

The Burberry Company has been awarded a $1.5 million dollar award in statutory damages against a New York based importer and online seller Designer Imports Inc. this past Tuesday. The judge found that the company was selling counterfeit apparel and accessories.

The funny thing is that the company had gotten into legal trouble with Burberry before back in 2007 and agreed not to sell anymore counterfeit Burberry items. When the fashion house decided to investigate and purchased Burberry items from the online store, the Burberry company found that all of them were fake.

While the judgment is favorable for Burberry, it is not the $6.5 million dollars that they had originally asked for.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chanel Takes a Licking, But Remains Victorious

Chanel history will show how the fashion luxury brand went from being imitated, to being blamed of forgery....only to be exonerated.

Chanel was charged with forgery (the blasphemy!) four years ago by one of its smaller suppliers World Tricot.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Paris commercial court has ruled in favor of the legendary design house this past Friday. However, the fashion house was charged with a breach of contract. As a result, Chanel must pay approximately $583,960 to the supplier for Chanel's cancellation of orders. This is a small victory for the supplier, but the French court also awarded Chanel with half that amount for what it called a "smear campaign".

The lawsuit centered around a floral crochet pattern that World Tricot sent to Chanel for consideration, but that Chanel refused to use. Afterwards, the founder of World Tricot spotted a similar crochet design on Chanel clothing. She promptly filed the lawsuit.

While Chanel remained victorious, it was a bittersweet win. The lawsuit centered around a supplier who worked with women from third world countries and focused on female empowerment. As a result of losing its contract with Chanel, the company was forced into bankruptcy.