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The Official Page of The Fashion Law.

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    Everyone freaked out when Kanye wore the Givenchy kilt for the 12/12/12 concert. I mean, he was trending on Twitter for it the next day. So, he is an actually amusing and/or interesting look at Kanye and his stylist deciding on the kilt. He loves fashion so much.

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    Chinese model Liu Wen's Fall/Winter style is pretty perfect and so, she is a perfect addition to our weekend style features. Get inspired by her chic winter-time looks below ...

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    He undeniably has some major haters but Hedi Slimane has won me over yet again. I was personally quite taken with his debut collection for Saint Laurent. It was not the most novel collection ever but for what it was, I found that it had a chic edginess to it, and is something I really want to wear. So, his  self-photographed womenswear ad campaign for Spring 2013 starring Julia Nobis and Edie Campbell is no exception. His aesthetic (the ultra slim, smoking, nudity, black and white) is one that industry has a love/hate relationship with, but it is his and he is anything but apologetic about it. What do you think?

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  • 12/24/12--08:00: We Love Winter Whites

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  • 12/25/12--04:00: Happy Holiday From Us to You
  • Happy Holiday from us to you. We hope you are having a beautiful holiday, and are enjoying our festive posts. TFL will return to its normal posting schedule very soon.  

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    Happy Holiday from us to you. We hope you are having a beautiful holiday, and are enjoying our festive posts. The Fashion Law will return to its normal posting schedule very soon.  

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  • 12/26/12--06:27: Update: Burch vs. Burch
  • Tory and Chris Burch's legal drama does not stop for Christmas. The ongoing battle between the lookalike brands (C. Wonder vs. Tory Burch) stems from Chris Burch's complaint against Tory alleging breach of contract and hijacking the bidding process (of Chris' shares in her co.). The latest: the Tory Burch legal team has issued subpoenas to Chris’ former employees, in attempts to gain information about the origin of C. Wonder. One former C. Wonder-employee includes creative director Scott Formby. As such, Chris has fired back with subpoenas for Tory’s brother Robert Isen, who is her company’s president of corporate development, and his wife Patty Isen, Anthropologie‘s director of special projects. More to come ...

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    Rapper Drake is apparently not too happy that his hit song-turned-popular phrase, YOLO, is being used without his authorization. In other words, Drake wants royalties for a term that he hasn't actually trademarked. The rapper took to his Instagram on Tuesday to call out Walgreens and Macy's for selling YOLO-adorned goods, saying: "Walgreen' gotta either chill or cut the cheque" and "Macy’s…same goes for you." I guess that's his attempt at a cease and desist letter. Accompanying the messages are images of the not-so-chic YOLO wares. His fans were not too thrilled by his posts. See the pictures and some comments below ....

    What the rapper doesn't realize (I guess) is how the trademark system works. Entities other than Drake have federally registered trademarks for the term on accessories, and registrations are pending for just about everything, including clothing and jewelry. All of which are dated before 2011, when Drake released the song. He (and/or his record company) have copyright protection over his song, entitled YOLO, but since copyrights and trademarks are distinct forms of IP protection. As such, Drake is likely out of luck here in terms of collecting royalties each time YOLO is printed on something.

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  • 12/27/12--08:29: Tinseltown is Trademarked
  • Topson Downs, a Los Angeles apparel manufacturing company that sells to Urban Outfitters and Macy's (among others) has finally received been trying to trademark the word "Tinseltown" since 2010 for belts, blazers, hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts and more. Originally denied for being "primarily geographically descriptive," Topson Downs appealed the USPTO examining attorney's decision, and the appellate board ruled in Topson's favor. According to the decision: "The examining attorney's arguments do not overcome the evidence that the terms Tinseltown and Hollywood denote the movie industry itself ... It remains that the term Tinseltown possesses a prominent and significant meaning other than that of a geographical location."

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    In a piece entitled MADONNA STOLE OUR VOGUE HATS, designer Patricia Field, famed Sex and the City stylist, took to her Tumblr to expose the singer's latest knockoffs. Field writes: "Madonna is selling exact replicas of our VOGUE hat as part of her tour merchandise!!!! Patricia Field stylist, Hiraku, designed the snap back and we sell it as a t-shirt, headband and beanie. They’ve been going like hotcakes here at the store and have become a staple of the Patricia Field brand this year." She goes on to call Madonna a thief. Field's claim seems like a bit of a stretch considering neither party here has a trademark on the word Vogue. Thoughts?

     Patricia Field's design

    Although Madonna is selling this hat in connection with her MDNA world tour, Field likely has no need to worry, Madonna is a notorious copier (remember that Louboutin "inspired" shoe line?). Unlike Field, Madonna doesn't have much (if any) credit in the design community. 

    Madonna's version

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    WWD is reporting that a photo from Melissa Magazine's Summer 2013 Plastic Dreams issue (below right) "looks strikingly similar" to W Korea's March 2012 cover. Also mildly amusing: the Cut blog's attempts to show that the images are not "strikingly similar." (See below). What both WWD and the Cut seem to forget (or maybe not know at all) is that "striking similarity" is a standard with legal significance. Further, because "substantial similarity" largely lacks a standard definition, potential infringements are examined on a case-by-case basis and the tests vary by jurisdiction. The writers of the respective pieces also seem to be confused as to the idea/expression distinction that exists within the U.S. copyright regime. I'm not quite sure that "models in colored wigs splayed about on a pastel-colored set" is exactly an original expression. 

    The Cut's reasoning as to why the images are not "strikingly similar:" Both pictures show a cluster of bored and semiconscious models wearing colorful wigs sitting on a pastel surface; but in the photo on the left there are only four bored and semi-conscious models, whereas on the right, there are seven. Other key differences: W used pastel wigs and Melissa did not; W cast one model of color and Melissa's group is more diverse; W dressed its girls in glorified doilies and Melissa focused on its wedges; W could afford to carpet the entire floor and Melissa couldn't. 

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    It is going to be a big year for Cambridge Satchel. The "it" Brit. bag maker is set to open its first brick and mortar store in London and the company is unveiling a new line at January's Pitti Uomo menswear trade show in Florence. The Cambridge Satchel for men. The 75 piece collection features everything from embossed croc to tartan designs, and classic satchels to modern-looking briefcases. I got a sneak peak at the collection this past September, and I love the direction that CS Co. is taking. Men, you are in for a treat, especially since all of the satchels are handmade and ethically manufactured in Cambridge Satchel's own factory 

    images courtesy of refinery29 & cambridge satchel

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    Our favorite unconventional model, Andrej Pejic, graces the cover of the latest issue of Elle Serbia. The blonde model trades in his long locks for a short black hairdo on the mag's January cover. While New York-based Pejic was living in Australia when he was discovered, he is actually of Serbian descent. Elle's corresponding spread, entitled Hero(ina) features the ultra-androgynous Pejic in both in menswear and also in womenswear. One soon-to-be controversial shot shows a menswear-clad Pejic in what appears to be a dispute with the lingerie-clad female version of himself. With so much attention being paid as of late to the depiction of violence in fashion, this one is likely going to cause a bit of buzz. See more images below and share your thoughts!

    images courtesy of tfs

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    Another day, another train-wreck celebrity clothing line. This time its Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville's dress collection called, Brand B. It's basically a collection of dresses that resemble those sold at Forever 21, but they are made in the U.S. While this would otherwise be a redeeming quality, the dresses are just so poorly designed that even a Made in the U.S. label cannot save them. My favorite design: the Back Diamond Cut-Out Maxi Dress, which is a mere copy of Stella McCartney's best selling Saskia dress. You may recall it since Gwyneth Paltrow wore it to the 2012 Grammy Awards this past February. Glanville's collection is yet another example of why clothing lines should not be granted, without warrant, to anyone with a famous name!  

    McCartney's Saskia dress (left) & Glanville's Diamond dress (right)

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    It was a busy week. Make sure to catch up on the best of The Fashion Law right now with our week in review ...

    Fashion blogs talk fashion law: Here's a recent example of fashion blogs attempting to apply legal principles to fashion and its a perfect example of why fashion law should be left to the experts! 

    Remember that Givenchy kilt Kanye wore? Well here's a look at all of the thought/effort that went into the look that caused quite a bit of buzz following the 12/12/12 Sandy benefit concert - starring Kanye himself. 

    Saint Laurent releases its first Spring 2013 ads. Following mixed reviews about his debut for YSL, Hedi Slimane has released the house's first ever Saint Laurent ad campaign and it is very Hedi. 

    Drake's message to retailers. The rapper took to his Instagram to share his belief that he is entitled to royalties for the use of the word YOLO. Only problem: he doesn't own the trademark. 

    The Real Housewives aren't exactly designers. The most recent example, Beverly Hills' cast member Brandi Glanville's dress line that includes a Stella McCartney copy. 

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    Designer and famed stylist (think Sex and the City) Patricia Field took to her Instragram this week to accuse Madonna of stealing her Vogue hat design. In fact, Field (via an employee named Andy) posted a message calling the singer "a thief" for selling lookalike hats as part of her MDNA tour. Well, it turns out, Field may be the unoriginal one here. We came across an image from Madonna's 1990’s Truth or Dare video in which, a backup dancer wears a black hat with VOGUE lettering. So, it appears that Field may not have done her research before putting the singer on blast. 

    Madonna's version circa 1990 (left) & Field's hat (right)

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    After 18 months in court, the epic Louboutin v. Yves St. Laurent case is officially over. The Manhattan federal district court entered a final order on Thursday dismissing the suit, as Louboutin has no pending claims against YSL. So, what actually happened? Louboutin brought suit against YSL in April 2011 for trademark infringement. In September, a New York federal court of appeals ruled that Louboutin’s federally registered trademark over the red soles is, in fact, valid. The one caveat: the trademark does not extend to all-over red shoes, such as some of the YSL shoes at issue. Both parties claim a victory in the ruling - the validity of Louboutin's trademark was upheld and YSL can continue to make its monochrome red shoes with red soles. 

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    For our last Saturday Style Feature of the year, we have compiled a post that consists of some of our favorite street style icons, including: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Margherita Missoni, Ceylan Atnc, Miroslava Duma, Anja Rubik, Nick Wooster, Pharrell, and more ... 

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    I know I said The Fashion Law would not being featuring any Best of 2012 lists, but there is one very necessary exception: our favorite emerging and/or Made in the U.S. designers. So, here is our non-exhaustive list (I know I am definitely forgetting some!) of the most talented designers in the industry. Tell us what you think of our list and whether or not your favorite designers are on it! 

    Prabal Gurung

    Cushnie et Ochs

    Wes Gordon

    Carlos Campos

    Honor by Giovanna Randall

    AA by Antonio Azzuolo

    ISAORA by Ricky Hendry and Marc Daniels

    Sophie Theallet

    Marlon Gobel

    BSUN by Brandon Sun
    images courtesy of, vogue & thefashionlaw

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    Stella McCartney has been named on Queen Elizabeth II's year-end list of Order of the British Empire honorees. The award, which stems partly from her contribution of designing the UK's Olympics uniforms this year, follows a big year for McCartney's Designer of the Year award at the British Fashion Awards last month. Stella, who's designs are a red carpet favorite, joins the ranks of her father, Paul McCartney, who was honored, and Alexander McQueen creative director, Sarah Burton, who was recently honored. See some of our favorite Stella looks from the year below ...

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