Feral Childe is a clothing line owned by Alice Wu and Moriah Carlson. You may remember the wonderful pattern puzzle challenge featuring one of their styles (part one and two). As Alice has been an active and supportive member of our forum, I was more dismayed than usual to hear Forever 21 copied one of their fabric prints. Exactly. Unfortunately, this means Alice and Moriah had to hire attorneys to deal with the unpleasantness -as though they didn’t have enough to do already. Below is a press release from their attorney announcing the lawsuit they’ve filed against Forever21 for copyright infringement.
DESIGN DUO FIGHTS BACK AGAINST INFRINGEMENT BY FOREVER 21
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 14, 2011
Los Angeles, California – Bi-coastal creative duo Moriah Carlson (Brooklyn, NY) and Alice Wu (Oakland, CA), who design together under the Feral Childe brand, have struck back at the blatant infringement by Forever 21 of one of Feral Childe’s original works of art. The company, through its attorneys at Doniger/Burroughs APC, has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Forever 21 in Federal Court in Los Angeles, alleging that Forever 21 has copied one of Feral Childe’s original hand-created designs, and created and sold apparel bearing this design. Below on the left you will see the original work, and on the right you will see Forever 21’s blatant knock-off:
A review of the above makes clear that Forever 21 has continued in its campaign to steal outright the creative output of some of the brightest minds in the apparel industry, and trample the intellectual property rights of others in an attempt to boost profits. Forever 21’s attempt to profit by misappropriating the work of Feral Childe, however, will not go unpunished.
It is obvious why a company like Forever 21 would want to target Feral Childe as a source from which to steal design work. Since its first wholesale collection in Fall 2006, Feral Childe has created original textile prints for each season and continues to represent the collections with projects incorporating collage, film, performance, photography and music. Both designers come from a fine arts background: Carlson obtained her Master of Fine Arts in painting at New York Studio School, and Wu obtained her Master of Fine Arts in sculpture at Yale School of Art. From its origins as a collaborative art project, Feral Childe has successfully evolved into seasonal wholesale collections while maintaining the artistic spirit which earned them a loyal and international audience.
Feral Childe has toured the world, exhibiting in Denmark, Japan, Canada, Qatar and throughout the United States at venues that have included Fritz Haeg’s Sundown Salon, MAK Center/Schindler House, Andrea Zittel’s HDTS, and the Deitch Projects Art Parade. Its wholesale collection has been sold in over 70 outlets such as Kaight and TG-170 in New York, Candystore Collective and EcoCitizen in San Francisco, and at stores online and around the world.
Feral Childe has been featured in Nylon, Racked, Refinery 29, Daily Candy, EcoSalon, Treehugger, and Ecouterre, among other publications; televised spots include What Not to Wear, Fashion Television and Air Canada. Feral Childe is especially proud of the fact that it does all production in New York’s historic Garment Center. As a company that highly values artistic integrity, Forever 21’s infringement is especially revolting. “Feral Childe has always strived to create the very best in innovative, ethically-produced clothing that is made to last. Our designs are the product of years invested in our deep friendship and artistic training,” say Wu and Carlson. “Forever 21’s copying and mass production of our original textile design without our permission is just plain wrong. It’s frustrating that this enormous company would dare to poach the artistic creations of a small company such as ours, and we are going to make sure it is held accountable.”
This case is currently pending in the Central District of Los Angeles. For media inquiries, please contact Scott Burroughs at DONIGER / BURROUGHS APC, at (310) 590-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alice & Moriah: you know we’re plugging for you and we hope this matter is resolved quickly and fairly. Go Feral Childe!
Forum members can follow the conversation here.