Update: On Wednesday, Everlane came out in support of Gucci’s decision to sue Forever 21. In an Instagram post titled "We Support Gucci," the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer brand wrote: “These cases tend to be highly contentious, and legal precedents exist for both sides. We are not denying that sometimes brands inspire and influence each other — that’s what creates trend. But this is not that. The styles in question are clear knockoffs — including a signature print and design — just recreated at a lower quality and a lower price. In this case, Forever 21 is directly profiting off of Gucci’s unique designs. It’s unethical and it has to stop.”
Though it may seem random, Everlane has built an entire business on ethically sourced and produced goods — basically the antithesis of fast-fashion. And when a company's intellectual property is on the line, they're just not here for it.
This article was originally published on August 8, 2017.
Previously on Everyone Is Suing Forever 21 Over Stripes: Adidas and Gucci have accused the fast-fashion retailer of copying stripes that are "confusingly similar" to their own designs: for the former, it's referring to its "well-known and long-trademarked three-stripe design;" for the latter, it's "items with blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripes." You be the judge.
In this Real Housewives-esque saga, both brands threatened legal action against Forever 21. When we last checked in, Forever 21 had filed a complaint against Gucci in June with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, saying: “Many clothing and accessory items adorned with decorative stripes colored blue-red-blue or green-red-green are sold by countless third parties. Gucci should not be allowed to claim that Gucci, alone, has a monopoly on all blue-red-blue and green-red-green striped clothing and accessory items.”
Gucci, however, did not take that claim lightly. On Tuesday, the Italian fashion house filed a motion to dismiss Forever 21’s lawsuit and is filing its own counterclaims.
In a statement released to Refinery29, the company confirmed the news, writing, “Gucci has today taken steps to finally put an end to U.S. mass retailer Forever 21’s blatant exploitation of Gucci’s famous and iconic blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripe webbing trademarks. In two filings today in the United States District Court, Central District of California, Gucci has asked the Court to dismiss the spurious claims that Forever 21 lodged on June 26, 2017, and has brought counterclaims against Forever 21 for willful trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.”
It continued: “Despite Forever 21’s attempt to use its lawsuit to intimidate Gucci into ceasing its trademark enforcement efforts, Gucci is as committed as ever to protecting its long established intellectual property rights, which are at the heart of the brand's identity, and to ending once and for all Forever 21's reprehensible exploitation of its distinctive trademarks and those of other brands who have suffered the same type of piracy."
Now feels like the right time to give Andy Cohen a call.
We’ve reached out to Forever 21 for comment, and will update this piece if/when we hear back.