In fashion, nothing is truly original, but there is such a thing as intellectual property. Apparently, imitation is not a form of flattery for Puma who is suing Forever 21 over their versions of the popular shoes from their “Fenty” line designed by musical superstar Rihanna.
According to TMZ, Puma filed a lawsuit against the fast fashion giant Forever 21 stating that the company’s business model is;
“based on trading off of the established goodwill of reputable, name-brand companies, such as Puma” -Statement from Puma Lawsuit
Puma claims that Forever 21 has stolen at least three different designs from the Fenty line including the Creeper, the Furry Slide, and most recently the Bow Slide (Pictured below).
Forever 21, and many other stores sell more affordably priced items that model high-end fashion to cater to the average consumer that doesn’t have deep pockets. But Puma has clearly had enough and is not playing any games with Forever 21. In their lawsuit, Puma is suing to shut down sales of the shoes. Also, they are suing for any profits made from the sales of those items. One can only wonder if this is the beginning of a new trend for other luxury brands to target fast fashion labels like Forever 21, Topshop, and Zara for selling “Designer Inspired” items.
As reported by The Daily Mail, Puma has also filed a suit in Germany against Topshop for the sale of their Bow, and Furry slides. They have successfully been awarded an injunction which forces Topshop to cease from selling all Creeper, Bow Slide, and Furry Slide designs as well. In a statement via The Daily Mail, representatives from Puma said this;
‘We will continue to take action to enforce our global intellectual property rights both against other brands who seek to trade off our designs and reputation and those who trade in counterfeit products.’
If this IS a growing trend, there are a lot of companies that will certainly be taking a big hit in the long run. Many people love shops like Forever 21 because they do offer affordable versions of luxury fashion. But, when is the line crossed when it comes to these items? Everyone should be compensated for their efforts, including luxury designers. No matter if you think the luxury item is overpriced or not, someone took the time and the effort to create that piece. For someone to take that and make money from it without compensating the designer is just plain wrong. We will keep you posted on this story as it develops.