Chanel is taking legal action against clothing label What About Yves for a T-shirt depicting its famous double C logo within a Ghostbusters-style design.
The luxury French house seems unhappy with the latest design from the parody streetwear brand - widely known for its “Aint Laurent Without Yves” merchandise, - and has served the brand’s founder Jeanine Heller with a trademark infringement suit.
According to The Fashion Law, the suit was filed last week in New York and it asserts that Heller is “displaying, offering for sale, and selling on her website, and selling to third-party retailers, a T-shirt and a sweatshirt bearing Chanel’s CC monogram mark with an image of an animated ghost commonly associated with the motion picture Ghostbusters”. The fashion giant, led by Karl Lagerfeld, says that Heller is using 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”.
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The online shop is still offering the controversial design, alongside other products which parody some of the world’s most famous fashion logos of brands including Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Dior; but none of these labels have taken legal action yet.
According to British Vogue, Chanel “is seeking damages that amount up to ‘three times the amount of actual damages sustained’”.
This, however, is not the first time that What About Yves has infuriated top fashion houses with parody products. Last year, it caused Saint Laurent to pull its entire collection from Parisian boutique Colette. The retailer was stocking Heller’s “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves” merchandise, which was launched following creative director Hedi Slimane’s controversial decision to drop the word “Yves” from the brand’s name of its ready-to-wear collections.
What About Yves' founder, Jeanine Heller, told The Independent: "The design was always meant as a parody, something that was clever and made people smile. We never claimed the design to be Chanel, and we also hired an independent artist to design the parody in order to avoid trademark disputes. The lawsuit is further evidence that fashion has no sense of humor and I am confident that this silly design never caused damage to Chanel's brand. There are simply much more important things in this world that Chanel should focus on rather than wasting time and money and ultimately damaging a much smaller t-shirt brand.
It's a shame that these large brands are allowed to file such lawsuits."
She has confirmed that until a resolution between the parties is reached the website will continue to sell the remaining inventory on the website, but no further production runs of the design will be made.