Streetwear is increasingly entering the children’s apparel space. And so are trademark infringements.
Earlier this month, Off-White, the streetwear label started by Louis Vuitton men’s designer Virgil Abloh, filed a suit alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition against Brooklyn Lighthouse, the e-commerce platform where parents can go to keep their kids fashionable in mini-Nike sneakers, Adidas Yeezy T-shirts and Supreme hoodies.
Off-White claims Brooklyn Lighthouse, which is legally known as Breukelyn Threads, has been copying its trademark stripes and its two intersecting dual-sided arrows, known as the “Off-White Arrow Design,” and confusing customers in the process.
In fact, Brooklyn Lighthouse’s “counterfeit products are nearly indistinguishable from the Off-White products, with only minor variations that no ordinary consumer would recognize,” the court documents read.
And it’s not just Off-White that Brooklyn Lighthouse is being accused of ripping off. “Defendant offers for sale and/or sells products that infringe other well-known brands, including, but not limited to, Champion, Supreme and Gucci,” the court documents read.
Representatives at Off-White first found out about Brooklyn Lighthouse and its look-alike products last summer and asked the company to stop selling the items the following September.
Brooklyn Lighthouse, which has 129,000 followers on Instagram, has since removed the offending apparel from its social media channels and web site, but has denied any infringement. Although, according to court documents, Brooklyn Lighthouse acknowledged that its products might be confusing some shoppers.
Still, Off-White is asking for $2 million in damages for each counterfeit item.
Douglas Hand, a fashion law attorney at Hand Baldachin & Associates, said an argument could be made that children’s and adult apparel are not competitive, but said it’s not a strong defense because adults buy both kids and adult clothing.
Brooklyn Lighthouse declined comment.