Saint Laurent Slapped the Maker of the "Ain't Laurent Without Yves" Parody T-Shirt With a Lawsuit
Parody T-shirts are not all fun and games for the brands being parodied.
Image via Complex Original
Last year, Saint Laurent pulled all of its clothing out of the Parisian boutique Colette because the store was selling parody T-shirts that read, "Ain't Laurent Without Yves." The brand behind the parody is What About Yves, and the T-shirts were made in response to Creative Director Hedi Slimane's decision to officially remove "Yves" (the name of the label's founder) from the company's name. According to Fashionista, Luxury Goods International has decided that removing Saint Laurent product from stores wasn't enough, and it is now suing What About Yves for "trademark infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin and unfair competition."
The lawsuit comes after LGI claims that What About Yves founder Jeanine Heller ignored multiple letters and continued to sell her shirts. When Heller did respond, she reportedly tried to sell her brand to Saint Laurent instead of complying with requests to stop sales. As with other lawsuits for false designation and unfair competition, the LGI suit says that Heller's product uses "lesser quality materials" and that they are "likely to cause consumer confusion."
Heller has been sued in the past by Chanel and Dior for similar parodies. Heller told Vogue that the Chanel case was dropped because "they filed against the wrong party...I was never doing business as What About Yves; the company is a corporation and Chanel, by law, cannot sue the owner of the company for damages. Moreover, my majority stake in the company was acquired over the past year. You would think with a company such as Chanel their attorneys would do research before filing a trivial lawsuit."
We'll see if the Saint Laurent lawsuit holds up.