Imagine a Supreme store that’s three stories high, sells everything from streetwear to beauty products and has a prime location in the core shopping district of China’s most populated city. Sounds promising, right? Well, not if you like authentic Supreme gear.
According to HYPEBEAST, the “legal fake” imprint known as Supreme Italia is opening up its flagship location in the Huangpu District of Shanghai, with over 70 more stores to open across the globe over the next two years. This comes after the report last year when Samsung China announced a collaboration with the company, owned by British holding company International Brand Firm, which caught major flack for clearly not being associated with the NYC-based imprint created by James Jebbia. You may be wondering how a company can rip off a brand as huge as Supreme, especially after the streetwear stalwart’s Louis Vuitton collab that dominated the fashion world in 2017. Well, being that the word “supreme” is hard to trademark — Supreme found this out the hard way after losing a copyright lawsuit back in 2013 — and the brand’s well-known Box Logo is actually a play on artist Barbara Kruger‘s propaganda art from the late ’80s, they really have no control over the whole thing.
Here’s how NSS Magazine summed up the case rulings a few months ago:
“In particular, the court decisions exclude the possibility of the counterfeit crime (the most serious one) because “following the lawfulness regulation, for an action to be a crime it is not sufficient the confusion between the two brands, nor the actual external similarity of the product.” What remains are two minor crimes of unfair competition and civil offense, which appear less serious if we consider the European Union ruling against Chapter 4’s request to register the Supreme brand in the EU, while the Supreme Spain brand is legally registered in Spain.”
Although Samsung is reportedly starting to reconsider its collab with Supreme Italia in the wake of all this, it still doesn’t change the fact that shoppers in Shanghai will soon be walking around with Supreme-branded lipstick, hats, sweaters, cosmetics and the coveted Box Logo tee, copped straight from a Macys-style department store. The legal system is tricky, ain’t it?
Would you rock “legal fake” Supreme if it meant you didn’t have to wait on a line that stretches down Lafayette Street in NYC? Let us know your thoughts over on Facebook and Twitter!