For those in the fashion know, Vetements is the darling of French fashion at the moment, having reinvigorated a sense of street in the industry, and one of its founders recently being named artistic director of Balenciaga.
Vetements (meaning ‘clothes’ in French) is well known for its consistent use of third party trade marks in its own designs, having created DHL tees, Champion-style sweatshirts and Titanic apparel.
But it is the company’s Polizei-style raincoat with a white Vetements logo across the back that is perhaps best well-known, retailing online for around US$220.
Enter Davil Tran, a 22 year old architecture student from Brooklyn. Inspired by the Vetements raincoat, he has produced a garment almost identical in design with “Vetememes” across the back, available online for presale for $59 and already in high demand.
Here is a look at the two products:
Observers were quick to identify Mr Tran’s product as a parody, drawing on some recent cases including the recent Louis Vuitton parody case against My Other Bag where the defence of parody has been successfully used to defeat copyright infringement proceedings.
It would be interesting to see how the courts might approach this case.
On the one hand, Vetements itself is known to be fond of appropriating third party trade marks and the name ‘Vetements’ could be seen as a generic term, incapable of trade mark protection in and of itself.
On the other hand, the concept of the parodying work being ‘transformative’ might be harder to establish in this case, given how very similar the two final garments are.
In any event, we will never know, Vetements has indicated it ‘will not be filing any lawsuits over the Vetememes raincoat and hope that he has enjoyed making his project as much as we do making our clothes…’
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