Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH has lost a trademark case that it filed nearly two years ago against tote maker My Other Bag.
A New York state judge ruled that My Other Bag’s canvas totes, which feature illustrations of Louis Vuitton replica purses, are simply parodies and therefore do not serve as sources of trademark infringement or dilution.
“MOB’s use of Louis Vuitton’s marks in service of what is an obvious attempt at humor is not likely to cause confusion or the blurring of the distinctiveness of Louis Vuitton’s marks; if anything, it is likely only to reinforce and enhance the distinctiveness and notoriety of the famous brand,” Judge Jesse M. Furman of New York State’s southern district wrote in the decision.
Lee Curtis, a UK-based trade mark attorney and partner at intellectual property law firm HGF, said he doubts this case would have had the same outcome in the EU since “there is no arguable ‘parody defence’ under the European Trade Mark Directive.”
He continued: “Further to me this does seem to trade on LVMH’s repute in their brand and designs. The usage does, in my opinion, create a link in the minds of the purchasing public with LV Replica, after all it has to if it is a parody, and at least under EU trade mark law, LVMH would appear to have a reasonable claim for MOB trading off their repute.”
LVMH filed the lawsuit against LA-based My Other Bag in June 2014.
— Louis Vuitton’s new campaign star is instantly recognised and idolised the world over. But she isn’t an actor or a supermodel – she’s the first computer-game character to become a high-fashion heroine. How very 2016, says Alexander Fury
The festive period is a rare moment of respite in fashion’s relentless schedule: the only comparable time is August, when many European factories traditionally down tools, thus preventing the pinrest of the industry from doing much at all. Nevertheless, this week, Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquière decided to (unofficially) unveil the world-famous, internationally recognised star of his spring/summer 2016 advertising campaign, via a short video and series of posts to his personal Instagram account. A sneak preview.
So what? It’s hardly unique – indeed, it’s become commonplace for fashion houses to “leak” high-profile campaigns such as this. Why should I – or, more importantly, you – be interested in Louis Vuitton’s?
How about the fact that said star is a clump of pixels, named Lightning – a character from the Final Fantasy computer game series? Haven’t heard that one before, have you?
On the one hand, it’s a reasonable choice. Lightning is wildly popular: voted best-liked female Final Fantasy character in a 2013 poll by the game’s developers, Square Enix, and in 2011 she came first in a Microsoft poll to determine the most popular character of the Final Fantasy XIII game. She’s kind of the computer game equivalent of Michelle Williams, another Vuitton campaign star. And Lightning’s fan base is especially massive in Japan, an important market for replica Louis Vuitton and the second-largest luxury market in the world, according to the consulting firm Bain & Company’s oft-quoted 2015 worldwide report.
But Lightning is, nevertheless, a computer game character. Which makes this campaign quite remarkable. It’s the first time I can think of that a fictional entity has fronted a major fashion house’s advertising campaign in place of a living, breathing model. And it also runs counter to fashion’s current fad for unretouched, warts-and-all realism – CR Fashion Book was the most recent, proudly boasting of its autumn/winter 2015 cover story that featured Lady Gaga, but no Photoshop.
Although unusual, the choice makes sense for Vuitton creatively. Ghesquière’s spring/summer collection was inspired by Japanese anime and the digiscapes of Minecraft, Final Fantasy and Second Life. To me, there was also a touch of Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider to Ghesquière’s patched combat trousers and ferocious metal-studded leather accessories, brandished like weapons by the models – but Lara Croft seems like a different world, a world that needed Angelina Jolie to bring her into three dimensions. Vuitton and Lightning need nothing of the sort: they enlisted the help of video-game artist, designer and director Tetsuya Normura (the main character designer of the latest Final Fantasy instalment) to bring her to “life”. And she does indeed wield those tasselled and logoed Vuitton replica handbags like cudgels.
The images are accompanied by a short video featuring Lightning in the opening look of Ghesquière’s show, originally worn by model Fernanda Ly – whose trademark pink hair, in retrospect, bears a striking resemblance to Lightning’s own. The brand’s bold choice for its Christmas windows (all 436 of them) was a “digital girl”, a glistening chrome mannequin that looks like a cross between the shiny-helmeted get-ups of the Daft Punk musicians and a tree bauble. Vuitton is forward-thinking.
That’s worth remarking on – especially at a time when houses are anxiously looking backwards, trying to entrench themselves in generations-old traditions of European luxury. Nostalgia is an easy sell, after all – far easier than this tough, techy stuff. Vuitton has more than its fair share of history – there’s an exhibition ongoing at the Grand Palais in Paris that charts the history and development of the label since its establishment in 1854. Ghesquière has done his fair share of delving into the company’s archives; he has even popularised a replica bag that’s a downsized version of a Vuitton trunk. I guess now he feels it’s time to move on to somewhere new.
Ultimately, that’s what I find refreshing and noteworthy about these images, especially in the context of Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags. They feel new, exciting, even a little unsettling – it’s all a bit sci-fi, a bit AI, to have computer-generated images modelling our fashion. For all the creative backup of Ghesquière’s influences and inspriations, this advertising campaign feels like a brave choice. In fact, perhaps this is a brave choice because of that creative backup, because these images tie so perfectly to the rather abstract concept of Ghesquière’s Vuitton collection, as opposed to, say, just sticking a disconnected but instantly recognisable celebrity in the clothes – or, more likely, behind the replica handbag. There’s a synergy to the creative and commercial here that’s quite exceptional.
It remains to be seen if it will pan out across advertising campaigns internationally, or if this is an interesting but ultimately pointless aesthetic cul-de-sac, a precursor to a more conventional approach when the actual advertising hits magazines and billboards. I hope not.
It’s always Fashion Week somewhere. Resort shows are barely done, but last week, the menswear world was traversing Europe, debuting Spring 2016 styles left and right. Most men’s shows don’t put much of an emphasis on accessories, but there is one very notable exception: Louis Vuitton.
Vuitton is one of only a few companies where the men’s leather business rivals the women’s in terms of style and diversity, and this season, creative director Kim Jones gave us a bunch of new Epi leather replica handbags in shades or red, white and blue, including a new men’s version of the classic Noé bucket bag.
The collection was also heavy on backpacks, including many bungee-adorned versions that looked like they might actually be useful for hiking and camping, were they not hyper-expensive luxury pieces. Check out all the bags from the show below.
I’ve been told I’m hard to shop for. I get it, who wants to shop for a professional shopper? That would be like me offering professional tax accounting services to my mom, the CPA. (That sounds totally illegal, by the way, but you get my point.)
But then I realized by way of interaction with essentially every man I’ve ever encountered (bosses, hairdressers, fathers of friends, dudes at dinner parties) that this isn’t a consequence of my choice of occupation; this is about the intimidation factor that comes along with being a lady. Most men are just straight-up clueless or terrified about making purchases that will please the females in their life—be it their wife, sister, or “no label” companion. It seems they’re happy to spend, but they want to do so smartly and successfully.
The item I am asked most often from men for shopping advice on also happens to be the most beloved of all in a lady’s wardrobe: the replica handbag. To which my first response is, “Well, is this purchase for purpose or pleasure—does she need it or just want it?”
You see, the first thing you should know, sirs, is that there is a difference between the versatile monstrosities we sling across our shoulders to help us schlep around our day-to-day necessities and the pretty little things we can fit in the palm of our hand when we change into a Cushnie et Ochs bodycon dress after dark. There’s practical and there’s impractical, and both make great gifts.
So, I’ve devised a shopping road map/cheat sheet to help get you in and out of the store with the right bag that perfectly suits her taste and lifestyle. You’ll see it’s really not that hard after all. (Says the professional shopper.)
Access Her Lifestyle. Always consider the reason why you are buying her a replica handbag in the first place. Is it because she needs something bigger, or sturdier, or maybe something a little more scratchproof? (Tip: For the latter, rule out lightweight leathers like lambskin—it nicks too easily.) If she’s in need of a chic and functional work bag, think about whether she’d like a top handle to tote it, or if her needs require a shoulder strap so she can be hands-free (in which case, flat and broad straps will be the most comfortable; bonus points if they’re adjustable). One thing to never overlook—despite lifestyle or price tag—is the starting weight. Never buy a lady you love a replica handbag that’s heavy when it’s empty. Not even a supersize Balenciaga is worth the upper trapezius pain.
Be Observant. Make sure you have a true understanding of her taste level. Pay attention to the things in her wardrobe she really loves—everything from the brands she wears most often to the various textures and colors she favors. Snooping in her closet is perfectly acceptable, as is seeking the counsel of her friends. But for added affirmation, peep her social media accounts like Pinterest and Instagram. Beyond her own posts and pins, check out the tastemakers she interacts with and follows to get some ideas or examples of a style she admires.
Size Matters. Beyond the style, the second most important aspect of a forvever-in-rotation replica handbag (your goal, by the way) is the size. Remember to account for how much space her belongings will take up. For instance, if her daily haul includes a 13-inch laptop, a paddle brush, and a pair of commuting flats—size way up. If buying online, be sure to check the bag’s measurements to assure it’s the proper size, as a lot of popular styles come in various options (like the Bally Sommet tote, above). To be more helpful, retailers such as Net-a-Porter and mytheresa.com also showcase each bag on a woman’s figure, which makes it easier to decipher its actual size in comparison to your lady friend.
Classic Trumps Trend. When in doubt, a black carryall by an iconic luxury brand like replica Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Celine, and Hermès will never fail you. But for a color switch-up, camel, tan, and gray are also considered classic, non-season-specific options. (Tip: Stay away from white—or bone—which typically requires too much upkeep for a wardrobe workhorse.)
Dazzle Her. Unlike with a practical (yet polished) everyday carryall, your goal with a special-occasion handbag (sometimes called an evening clutch, minaudière, or minibag) is to up the wow factor. She wants something her friends will covet; something that will elicit oohs and aahs every time she takes it out of the closet (see: Fendi or Valentino, above). So really consider her favorite colors, style type, and designers—as this is the opportunity to be a little more adventurous with your selection. Think: bold hues, playful prints, and anything that sparkles.
Little Is Big. It’s no secret that a nice replica handbag is a costly investment. High-end designer options of the best status and craftsmanship will cost you upwards of $100, easily. Good news for you, though, is that tiny replica handbags, or miniatures, are having a moment. Designers are making more pint-size options—which is fantastic because that means the entry-level price tag on some of the most sought-after labels minimizes potential “no returns” risk.
Size Still Matters. Just because she likely won’t be carrying this bag every day doesn’t mean it shouldn’t still accommodate all her various non-workweek sundries. Some ladies can get away with just carrying a credit card and a tube of lipstick for a night out, and others are not as comfortable downsizing their “must-haves.” So if her handbag, or life, motto is “the bigger the better,” consider getting her an oversize envelope clutch or a quilted, midsize replica shoulder bag with a decorative chain shoulder strap (like the emerald green one by Saint Laurent, above). But if she seems to care more about flair than actual practicality, go with something ultracompact and decadent like the above gold-studded hard clutch by Tom Ford. Then just add some fancy plans to give her an occasion to show off her new swoonworthy armpiece.
Taking a brand that’s fallen out of favor and making it cool again is among the hardest things to do in fashion, but if I’d trust anyone to pull it off, it’d be former Balenciaga frontman Nicolas Ghesquiere. Louis Vuitton replica apparently agreed with me when they hired Ghesquiere to fill the position vacated by Marc Jacobs after 16 years, and since his arrival in 2013, he’s quickly put his own stamp on the iconic line’s replica handbags.
Ghesquiere’s designs have been extremely popular among fashion people, and they’re arguably the root of the A-line miniskirt trend that’s at the forefront of the 70s revival currently happening in fashion. Louis Vuitton has also effectively recruited an army of fashionable celebrity supporters, most of whom are extremely talented in their own fields, beyond simply being good vessels for clothes and accessories. It may seem like a small distinction when aesthetics are the primary concern, but when it comes to marketing a brand as a lifestyle component, it’s extremely important.
Convincing fashion people and celebrities to get on board is crucial, but replica Louis Vuitton is a handbag brand before it’s anything else, and that means the brand’s most important critics are accessories consumers. The brand’s fashion and leather goods sales increased 18% in the first half of 2015, according to QZ, so it would appear that many consumers approve of the slew of new designs launched under Ghesquiere’s oversight, including the Twist Bag and the Petite Malle Clutch.
Many of you had critical things to say about Ghesquiere’s biggest bag launch yet, the City Steamer, but Vuitton is a brand that inspires such ardent love and hate alike that it’s difficult to use that as a bellwether for how the bag will actually do on the market. It strikes me as a strong addition to the LV lineup, but we’ll have to have to wait and see if it catches on. In my mind, though, Ghesquiere’s tenure at Vuitton is going about as well as the company’s executives could have hoped.
What about you, though? Is your interest in LV replica bags increasing, decreasing or staying the same as these new designs debut?