Oh no! Everyone's favorite cheap 'n chic retailer is in trouble. In 2007, Trovata, a ready-to-wear brand originated by three friends in California, accused Forever 21 of illegally cloning it's original designs. After two years of pending litigation, Trovata's suit against one of the fastest growing retail chains is scheduled for trial by jury next month on May 7.
TROVATA v. FOREVER 21
Photo credit: WWD
I'm going to shift into major legal dork mode and say that this case is HUGE! It really will set precedence in terms of fashion copyright and infringement laws. Currently, U.S. copyright laws only protect original prints or graphics on clothes basic because they are considered artwork. They do not protect against a garment's basic design, silhouette or form. This explains why many lower-end designers will create replicas of luxury designers (Notable examples include: Balmain Studded Sandals-->Bebe,Aldo; Herve Leger bandage dresses-->Bebe, Arden B, Cache). Litigation regarding the enforced protection for garment designs is currently pending in Congress.
I'm not sure how I feel about this case... The poor, straight out of college, first year salary trend-follower says for Trovata to get over it! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?! But at the same time, fashion is a form of art... How different is it? Should it not be duplicated? Check out WWD for the full story.
This is one of my heavier posts... I'll leave a few pics (the real thing v. the "knock-offs") to ponder...
BALMAIN STUDDED SANDALS v. BEBE & ALDO
Photo credit: Luisa Viaroma
Photo credit: Bebe, Aldo
HERVE LEGER v. BEBE
Photo credit: Saks, Bebe