ICYMI: Quartz is reporting that the maker of those little tree air fresheners is suing Balenciaga over a key chain that looks incredibly similar to their signature product.
The “car fresheners-inspired” calfskin key chains cost $275, are “embossed with the Balenciaga logo” and feature parts of the brand’s HQ address. [side note, fuck anyone that spends $275 on one of those things.]
As stated in the suit – which was brought by Car-Freshener Corporation and Julius Sämann Ltd. — “A comparison of the two known iterations of the Infringing Product to a genuine LITTLE TREES Air Freshener… underscores how slavishly Balenciaga copied Plaintiffs’ famous Tree Design Marks in shape, dimension and overall appearance.”
The lawsuit goes on to accuse the Italian fashion house of copying “specific colors associated with some of the polar scents” including, “green apple, black ice, summer linen and watermelon.”
My favorite part of the lawsuit, though, is the plaintiff’s claim that the $275 key chain “infringes on and dilutes their trademark and may confuse or mislead customers into thinking” that the two entities are associated. Because god forbid a maker of gas-station impulse buys be confused with a major fashion house.
Despite the suit, this probably won’t be the last time a Demna Gvasalia-fronted Balenciaga mines the mundane for ideas. As the story notes, the company has “a reputation for finding its inspiration in common, downmarket products… appropriating everyday items and putting them into a new high-fashion context.” On that note, the fashion house is also currently being sued by the “New York City tote” people, too.
You can read more about it at Quartzy.