Designers For Humanity

Louis Vuitton Doesn’t Hate Darfur, Just Copyright Infringement

Pretty darn similar.Photo: Nadiaplesner.com, Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton vs. Nadia Plesner battle is heating up, with the Danish art student questioning what can be considered art and the house of Marc trying to not seem like the bad guys while protecting their copyrights.

New York Magazine offered and insightful look at the lawsuit and how Louis was only taking the most logical step after dealing with an artist that refused to cease and desist. It’s one for the textbooks and will most likely  prevent other artists from messing with the Vuitton’s of the world any time soon. The full story below…

Earlier this week we ran a Q&A with Nadia Plesner, the Danish art student embroiled in a copyright lawsuit with Louis Vuitton. She created an image depicting a Darfurian child holding a bag based on a Louis Vuitton design for a campaign to raise awareness of the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Her message is that we care more about items like the Vuitton purse and the celebrities that carry them than serious issues like Darfur. Today a spokeswoman from Louis Vuitton rang us up to offer their side of the story.

She said the fashion house initially did not ask for damages when it noticed the colors and design of the bag in Plesner’s painting appeared to be an exact copy of the Audra bag pictured above. They sent Plesner a letter asking her to respect the rights of other artists like Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs and artist Takashi Murakami, who designed the bag. Plesner didn’t respond to the letter but continued her campaign and posted the letter on her Website. The spokeswoman also noted when Plesner started the campaign, she was donating 30 percent of the profits from the sale of T-shirts and posters with the image (now her Website says she’s donating 100 percent of the profits).

Since Plesner didn’t respond to Louis Vuitton, the house went to court in Paris to file an injunction. On March 25 the court declared the image was a clear infringement of Louis Vuitton’s copyright on the bag and ordered Plesner to cease and desist. When Plesner ignored this injunction, Louis Vuitton took further action and asked for 5,000 euros for each day she continued to sell the product (just under $7,700; some erroneous reports say $20,000 a day). “If companies don’t take action to protect trademarks, it’s harder to do so in the future,” the spokeswoman said. “I just think the way she’s portraying this she’s not telling what Louis Vuitton did to prevent the lawsuit.”

She added Louis Vuitton is not trying to stop Plesner’s campaign and hopes to find a solution to allow it to continue without infringing on Louis Vuitton’s intellectual-property rights.

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No one said LV had a sense of humor!

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Does this offend you? If you’re Louis Vuitton (and maybe Paris Hilton) it does!

In October of 2007, artist Nadia Plesner decided to create an art piece dealing with the genocide in Darfur. She created the above illustration that are on t-shirts and posters, with a 100% of the profit going to the organization “Divest for Darfur”

“My illustration Simple Living is an idea inspired by the medias constant cover of completely meaningless things.
My thought was: Since doing nothing but wearing designerbags and small ugly dogs appearantly[sic] is enough to get you on a magasine[sic] cover, maybe it is worth a try for people who actually deserves and needs attention…If you can’t beat them, join them. This is why I have chosen to mix the cruel reality with showbiz elements in my drawing.”

Truth be told she’s not actually making fun of Louis Vuttion, simply celebutantes dependence to Louis Vuitton. Well LVMH didn’t really say it that way and on Febuary 13th sent a cease and desist letter. Which in layman’s terms means ‘take that down before we sue your ass!’ However Plesner is sticking by her right to express herself as an artist. And as of April 15th a LVMH has brought lawsuit against her.

Support Nadia Plesner and her awesome t-shirts and posters.

Get a T-shirt and/or a Poster

See the Lawsuit

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All for Africa Tees Available NOW!!!

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John Legend Confirmed for All for Africa

Singer, Song Writer, John Legend has been confirmed for the Knock Out Poverty - All for Africa event we have been diligently working on.  His musical talents are unquestioned and his dedication to make a change is worth noting. We’re just psyched we’ll get to hear Ordinary People live.

The event will be taking place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Tennis Center in Flushing in June 2008. You can get your tickets online now. Click Here

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Kenneth Cole Blogs. Is Anyone Awear?

Kenneth Cole’s Awearness Blog launched.

And yes, we are awear. The blog is dedicated to social projects and activism so if any of you out there we’re hoping for a site about ways to wear your Reaction wear, keep searching. The idea of Mr.Cole as an activist shouldn’t be a surprise to any Indies out there. His regular efforts include fighting homelessness and AIDS prevention (NYC condoms are readily available at all his outposts), but is the blog worth the read? Check for yourself. So far the city boy has posted spots on GOOD magazine, Womens Rights and ways to save the world.

Not bad Cole, I guess Fashion Indie has some welcome competition in the activism field.

Hopefully, the Cole man heads up our Designers for Humanity initiative.

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Golden Oldies

Looking for all the classic indie goodness you’ve come to love.

CLICK HERE to be taken to our old site and view some classic posts.

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