Following their epic battle with the Italian tax authorities last year, things have been a bit quiet with Dolce & Gabbana on the fashion law front. We can only presume the dynamic duo, sick and tired of courtrooms, have been back to the business of, you know, actually designing clothes. But could our favourite Italian designers be heading back to court, albeit as plaintiffs in a fight against fakes?
Last week Stefano Gabbana took to his Instagram page to post five different pictures of potential trademark infringement including a ‘Dolce & Gipsy’ shirt and a ‘Dance & Havana’ aftershave for men. Gabbana peppered the images with lots of heart emojis ❤ to show he doesn’t care about knockoffs, it’s all a bit of fun, right? Well, we’re sure the designer will follow in the grand tradition of big designers claiming to be ‘flattered’ by knockoffs and find them ‘ amusing’ while simultaneously having their lawyers file multi-million dollar lawsuits against the infringing parties. Let’s not forget back in 2012 Dolce & Gabbana filed a lawsuit against a tiny South African seaside jewellery store using the name ‘Dolce & Banana’. The lawsuit accused store owner Mijou Beller of “objectionable conduct” and “diluting” the Milan Fashion Week brand’s namesake.
The world’s counterfeit problem is estimated to have grown by 10,000 per cent in the past two decades, fuelled by rocketing consumer demand and advances in technology. The biggest problem faced by luxury fashion designers is the dilution of their brand. When a brand that is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity is copied extensively and inferior products bearing the brand’s logo are made available, the brand is less attractive to its customers. Not surprisingly, stifling the supply of counterfeit goods is of paramount importance to luxury fashion brands.
So, is Stefano firing off some warning shots at trademark infringers? Or are his ❤ genuine?