NEW YORK — As the back-to-school shopping season hits its peak, the battle between Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters has extended from the mall to an Ohio courtroom.
Abercrombie’s teen concept J.M. Hollister has sued its competitor over its use of the number “22.” The lawsuit was filed in a Columbus federal court earlier this month.
According to the suit, the number refers to 1922, the year that the three-year-old Hollister chain claims on some pieces of merchandise to have been founded. While Hollister never registered a trademark for the number, it is claiming common-law trademark infringement and unfair competition. Hollister charged that American Eagle’s adoption of the number on its merchandise was “designed to create a likelihood of confusion among consumers as to the source or origin” of the merchandise.
Hollister is seeking to bar its competitor from using the number. It is also asking for an accounting of profits and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Neil Bulman, American Eagle’s vice president and general counsel, called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said the company intends to defend itself.
Hollister said in court papers that in fiscal 2002, its sales exceeded $150 million and that since 2000, when the concept was established, Hollister spent more than $4 million on advertising and marketing of the brand. Hollister, which offers casual apparel to young men and women between the ages of 14 and 18, operates 93 stores.
This isn’t the first time the two companies have engaged in copycat caterwauling. In 1998, Abercrombie filed a lawsuit against American Eagle charging it with copying Abercrombie’s styles and marketing.
Abercrombie complained about American Eagle’s use of the words “authentic” and “vintage sweatshirts,” and went so far as to claim proprietary rights to primary color combinations and striped patterns on shirts.
The following year, a federal district court judge threw out the lawsuit.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast