Last week, an artistic throwdown occurred between Marc Jacobs and graffiti artist Kidult. Marc Jacobs’ Soho boutique was marked with the word “ART” in hot pink graffiti by Kidult, and a photo of his work was later tweeted by the graffiti artist himself. The designer company later announced on Twitter that they are selling hot pink “Art by Art Jacobs” T-shirts, retailing at $689. Signed by the artist, $680.
What was Kidult’s response? The artist retweeted from @lexisnotdead: “SHAME on you, YOU COPY @therealkidult to make money with it, capitalist thieve [sic] RT @MarcJacobsIntl.”
It seems like Marc Jacobs was taking the phrase, “what’s mine is yours,” literally when Kidult created his work of art on the fashion label’s storefront. At first glance, it seems to be just a joke on Marc Jacobs’ part, but the T-shirts are actually in stock and are really being sold for that price. Who is the rightful owner of “ART”? Could this count as copyright infringement? This one seems like a no brainer.
French graffiti artist Kidult vandalized Marc Jacob’s posh Soho New York store last week by spray painting the word “ART” on the establishment’s brick wall while the fashion elite were attending the annual Met Costume Gala uptown. Jacobs’ quick-thinking publicity team tweeted a picture of the graffiti with the caption “Art by Art Jacobs,” which Jacobs has subsequently appropriated from Kidult by screen printing onto a pink t-shirt, offered for sale only at the Soho location at a steep price of $689.
They say any publicity is good publicity, but that is not always the case.
Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has shut down Marc Jacobs’ ad, for its Oh’ fragrance Campaign, as it is just too scandalous. A recent ruling determined that the ad violated both the Social Responsibility and Harm and Offense codes in the UK. It depicts Dakota Fanning wearing a candy pink dress and eyeing the camera seductively, while the 17 year old holds a bottle of the perfume between her thighs.
Who gets to decide when fashion and advertising cross the line? England has burdened the ASA with this job. According to their website, the ASA operates to “ensure ads are legal, decent, honest, and truthful;” and it functions on a complaint and ruling process. The general public is free to make comments and complaints to the ASA website regarding any ad campaign in England.
The Huffington Post reported that the entire Marc Jacobs 2012 collection was stolen on a train from Paris. Apparently, MJ’s PR team annouced the news canceling a scheduled press event. The entire Marc Jacobs collection is worth millions. I don’t know criminal law in the EU, but I know in NY this larceny would be a Class B felony (NY Penal Code §155.42). That means if the perpetrator is caught, they’d be looking at 1 to 25 years in jail.
It is not common for luxury fashion items to stolen and sold on the black market. Sometimes it a factory worker in the manufacturing company. Or sometimes they fall off the truck. But this case is special becuase an entire couture collection were stolen. Designer take majoy security precautions with their couture pieces – trasporting them with armed bulletproof tr
Normally, brand owners worry about pressing charges for counterfieting. In NY, a vendor on the street selling counterfiet merchandise can be charged with a range of crimes from a misdemeanor (up to one year in jail) to a class C Felony (up to 15 years in jail).
It’s strange to think that fashion designers have to deal with criminal law. I think, in Marc Jacobs case, the fashion house never imagined having to press larceny charges of this magnitude – that is if the police even find the person that committed this fashion crime!
The fashion world seems to be the “newb” when it comes to using gaming as a marketing tool, but “gratz” to the luxury brands and retailers for “making a play” to engage top-tier consumers and build brand loyalty.
According to the March 4, 2011 New York Times article entitled, Gaming Offers a Big Jackpot, if Labels Can Figure Out How to Play, a growing number of luxury brands and retailers have engaged in the “gamification” of the fashion industry. According to Gabe Zichermann, a specialist in the field, defines “gamification” on his website as an, “…industry that brings together game mechanics and marketing to create engagement and solve problems.”
Marc Jacobs can’t catch a break recently. Some intern Twitter chatter, and now the New York Post reported that Marc Jacobs International’s former President Robert Duffy was utilizing company funds as his own.
Last week, Racked reported that a former Marc Jacobs intern left off some steam towards CEO Robert Duffy via Twitter. Supposedly, the company put the intern in charge of the Twitter account @MarcJacobsIntl while searching for someone to fill the position of social media manager. One rant read: “Good luck! I pray for you all. If you get the job! I’m out of here. See ya! Don’t want to be ya! Roberts a tyrant! Seriously! He is tough!” After a few more, the company appears to have taken control back by posting “All is well here at MJ. Twitter is a crazy place. Protect your passwords.”
So it seems like they would like us to believe that someone hijacked the account and let loose. Do we buy it? In any event, this story got me thinking about the lowly interns in the fashion industry and the frustration that they often feel being at the bottom of the totem poll, or “putting in your dues” as they say. For small, up-and-coming designers, interns play an integral role in helping build a company and a brand. For large companies, there are fine-tuned internship programs and roles that undergraduate and graduate students viciously compete to land. And as long as there have been internships around, there has been the question: working for pay or working for credit? People always seem to have an opinion on what’s legal and what’s not when it comes to internship compensation. I’ve done a little research to resolve this once and for all…
I came across an ad in Racked stating that the tenth anniversary of the diffusion label, “Marc by Marc Jacobs,” is coming up. To celebrate, the company will be re-releasing some of the brand’s greatest-hits. The words that caught my eye were “diffusion label.” What exactly is a diffusion label and what effect does it have on luxury designer trademark? A diffusion label is a “low budget” line targeted at the incurable label addicts who have champagne taste but beer money. Another example is Miu Miu by Prada or Armani Jeans and A|X by Armani. What effect could this have on the trademark owner’s status?
Marc Jacobs has recently launched his own website for e-commerce which is geared to sell clothing and accessories from Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs. The site will not be exhaustive, with only select styles available online. The site includes videos and illustrations of a store entrance and sales people. Visitors are allowed to browse through runway videos and clothing pictures. Due to the fact that internet users do more and more shopping online, it explains why James Gardner, the chief executive of the design firm Createthe Group who has worked with Jacobs on the project, explained that they wanted to “bring the store alive.” Gardner continued on to say that “it’s going back to the roots of the Marc Jacobs brand, which is to be fun, entertaining, engaging and cool.” The amount of effort that went into the layout and design of the website is clearly evident. The website makes me wonder…