Forever 21 is turning the tables. The fast fashion retailer, that has had more than 100 copyright lawsuits filed against it over the past several years, is taking on another brand for, guess what…mimicking another brand’s designs. We know, it sounds backwards to us, too. But we reread The Fashion Law article five times to make sure it was right. Last month, the California-based company filed a lawsuit accusing Bastiat USA Inc., aka Brandy Melville, for copyright infringement.
In Forever 21’s complaint, it says that fellow millennial-focused retailer Brandy Melville was “offering for sale and selling clothing items which embodied designs that wholly and completely copied Forever 21’s design and which is protected by Forever 21’s [federal] Copyright [registration].” The item in question is Brandy Melville’s $29 red printed Abigail dress. In 2014, however, Forever 21 was granted the exclusive right to use this copyrighted design, a red-based fabric with a pattern of medallions, according to The Fashion Law.
Forever 21 is even claiming that Brandy Melville knew what they were doing. “Without permission, Defendants intentionally and knowingly reproduced, copied, displayed, manufactured, derived, and distributed products embodying colorable imitations of Forever 21’s Design,” the complaint states.
Clearly, Forever 21 doesn’t think too highly of their competitor.
But, we have a feeling many other brands are thinking, “what goes around comes around,” right now. In 2015, H&M sued Forever21 for copying their “Beach Please” tote. In 2009, Trovata, a clothing company known for “combining an East Coast preppy look with a West Coast surfing appeal,” settled a suit with Forever 21 that had dragged on for two years. They had accused the brand for copying a batch of their shirts. Diane von Furstenberg, Anna Sui, and Anthropologie have also filed suits against Forever 21. And that’s not all.
The funny thing is, in this lawsuit, Forever 21 whines about how they are a constant target for copycatting. “In light of the success of [its] clothing, as well as the reputation [it] has gained, Forever 21 and its products have become targets for unscrupulous individuals and entities who wish to unlawfully imitate Forever 21’s copyrighted styles and designs,” the complaint states.
It’s like they live on their own planet or something. Maybe on their planet, people are able to remain 21 forever. It’s all starting to make sense now…