SANTA ANA, Calif. — The federal jury deliberating allegations that Forever 21 knowingly copied the designs of Trovata told a judge Tuesday that it was deadlocked.
Judge James V. Selna disclosed in U.S. District Court here that he received a note from the panel expressing concern that one juror was incorrectly applying the law, as well as a perception of misconduct. He did not provide details, but said, “It’s dangerous business starting to look for misconduct.”
Selna said the jury of six men and two women had asked for legal clarifications. The jurors will return today in an effort to work out their differences and avoid a potential mistrial. They began deliberating on Friday.
The outcome of the case may clarify intellectual property rights in an era when knockoffs of runway looks often appear in specialty chains before designers’ original versions hit stores. The jury is considering whether the cheap chic retailer produced near-identical copies of pieces worn on the runway or published in magazines — in one instance with labels inside a hoodie that were unique to Trovata.
The core of Trovata’s lawsuit is whether Forever 21’s combined use of largely minute design elements, such as evenly spaced four-hole buttons, a round zipper pull or alternating stripes in contrasting colors (the legal term for which is “trade dress” — the visual appearance of a product that links it to a particular brand in consumers’ minds), constitutes an infringement of Trovata’s intellectual property.
The suit covers seven Trovata pieces, including cardigans, hoodies, shirts and a jacket from fall 2005 to early 2006.
Los Angeles-based Forever 21 has conceded the similarities between its garments and those of Trovata, but insisted that it broke no laws because the disputed designs were not unique to Trovata, which has headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif.
Trovata, headed by founder John Whitledge, is seeking a multimillion-dollar award for actual and punitive damages.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia