Kanye West’s close friend, Virgil Abloh, is firing back at allegations he ripped off another company with his fashion line Off-White.
Earlier this year, OffWhite Productions - who do business as OFFWHITE – sued Abloh’s fashion house, OFF—WHITE.
OFFWHITE accused OFF—WHITE of ripping off their trademarked name and ruining their years of hard work.
In the newly filed documents, Abloh says, “In this case, Plaintiff, a behind-the-scenes marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies, claims that its trademark is being infringed and diluted by Defendant, a popular fashion streetwear label, primarily because one of Defendant’s trademarks happens to fall within the same broad trademark class.”
He continues, “The sheer implausibility of Plaintiff’s infringement claim dooms it from the start. No one is or could be likely to confuse Defendant’s jackets, sweatshirts, and other streetwear apparel, or its retail stores, with Plaintiff’s business-to-business marketing consulting services.”
Abloh accuses the company of trying to profit “through litigation from” his “meteoric fashion success”. He wants the entire lawsuit thrown out of court.
In the original lawsuit, OFFWHITE said they had been in business since the late 1990s, and have been doing business as “OFFWHITE”. The company points to their website that was launched in 2001 and have promoted their name on social media since 2005.
The suit said the defendant “Off—White” brand was founded in 2012, “and has grown rapidly under the direction of its creative designer, Virgil Abloh.” They say Abloh’s company is known for selling $1,000 sweatshirts as well as collaborations and endorsements from celebrities, which includes Kanye West.
The company takes issue with the fashion company using their name and allegedly infringing on their trademarks.
OFFWHITE fired off cease and desists to Abloh’s company, but he has refused and instead tried to file for trademarks to spite them.
They are suing seeking unspecified damages. The suit is also demanding all profits Abloh’s company has made using the name, and an injunction forcing them to cease selling under Off-White.
Virgil Abloh started his career when he interned at Fendi in 2009, the same year Kanye West did. The two became close friends and support each other’s ventures.
Abloh is currently the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's wear collection. He is also the CEO of the Milan-based fashion label OFF—WHITE, which he founded in 2013.