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H&M plagiarism to the detriment of Thrasher Magazine

The never ending story of fast-fashion copying underground

H&M plagiarism to the detriment of Thrasher Magazine The never ending story of fast-fashion copying underground

There's a new storm that is heating the fashion system. This time we are talking about the controversy between the skateboarding magazine Thrasher and the big fast-fashion company H&M. According to the San Francisco magazine, the Swedish brand would have shamelessly copied its logo, using it for some clothes. The allegation comes directly from Thrasher's Instagram account that made its attack public by posting a picture of a t-shirt from H&M's Divided line with the word “Trippin” printed in its iconic "flames" font. The image is combined with an extract from the answer of H&M's lawyers:

"To the extent your contention is that H&M used the word “trippin” to indicate the source of the Sweatshirt, that allegation is misplaced. H&M’s use of the word “trippin” is merely an ornamental or decorative feature on the Sweatshirt. Most purchases of the Sweatshirt would not automatically think the word “trippin” identified the source of the Sweatshirt, but instead would view the word “trippin” as merely decorative. Moreover, the words “tripping” and “Thrasher” and/or “Thrasher Magazine” do not sound alike nor look alike. While both words start with the letter “T” that is not enough to succeed on a likelikhood of confusion claim"

It's not the first time that Thrasher raises its middle finger against a brand who copies its famous logo, as happened recently with Forever 21, which put on sale a windbreaker with the word “Happiness” on it printed in the iconic “flames” font. But, above all, it's not the first time that fast-fashion companies copy shamelessly new brands or underground realities. We have talked about this controversial issue many times in the past, which involves not only inefficient copyright laws or the exploitation of creativity, but also the totale indifference of big fashion companies towards the meaning that these copied products have

This is the point that seems to emerge from Thrasher's allegation against H&M: it's not just about convicting the plagiarism, but also, and maybe above all, the devaluation of the entire original work behind the copy. H&M's customers buy that t-shirt considering that word as a simple, very cool, trendy ornament, ignoring its meaning and, in particular, its origin. The "word with flames" becomes a market product just like any other items in a supermarket, which captures the attention of clients because it recalls the trends of the moments, without considering the undergound culture it has represented for years. So, it adds insult to injury. Something like that happened to the Los Angeles-based illustrator and designer Bassen, which works are copied regularly by Zara Group. This undesiderable situation was reported by Bassen's friend and colleague Adam J Kurtz, which posted on his website a list of products that Zara copied from his colleagues, including himself – you can see it here. The story of the fashion companies who copy emerging designers and artists seems to be endless. Sadly, the underground cultures look like a great inexhaustible source of inspirations and successful products that, thanks to their proximity to young communities, can be good trends easily. And this is hard to stop.

Just got a letter back from @hm's lawyers. Here's an excerpt from their response. FUCK OFF H&M Respect the original

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