FASHION LAW: CHANEL SUES OVER LOGO PARODY
Chanel has never hesitated to dictate proper use of its name, but the French fashion house is taking its latest branding grievance to court. The label is suing the designer-parody clothing line What About Yves for improperly appropriating its double C trademark in a graphic incorporating the film Ghostbusters.
The humorous tee and sweatshirt brand is known for its famous series of “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves” tops, a tongue-in-cheek reference to Hedi Slimane’s complicated re-branding of Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris. The suit charges What About Yves founder Jeanine Heller for lifting the “clearly recognisable CC monogram mark [on] her own clothing precisely because of the iconic status of the mark, with knowledge of its association with Chanel, in order to call to mind Chanel,” says the suit. Chanel is reportedly seeking “three times the amount of actual damages sustained.”
Heller’s parody merchandise appears to infringe on a number of other luxury brand trademarks, such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Dior. But not even Saint Laurent has pursued legal action against the brand, making Chanel’s infringement suit the first to target What About Yves for its creative use of luxury logos.
Despite the litigation, the offending Ghostbusters design has not yet been removed from the company’s website. But just this morning, the item was renamed Sweatshirt Gate and the description changed to the following:
The other sweatshirt that caused a ruckus. Limited edition final run. 100% Cotton. NOT CHANEL.
Image via What About Yves