This week in meta-meta-fashion: Thursday Friday's Birkin tote is knocked off, sold on eBay

Posted by Charles Colman

Fashion law acolytes might recall a neat little law school exam of a case involving Thursday Friday's "Together Bag" tote, which featured images of a $6000 Hermès Birkin bag on all four sides:



That bag got the company sued in January of this year; Thursday Friday moved to dismiss on various grounds.  LAW OF FASHION summarized the parties' arguments at the motion to dismiss stage here.  (Links to full court documents here.)


However, much to the chagrin of intellectually curious onlookers, the case settled without a ruling from the court on the propriety of T/F's meta-fashion.  LOF is not aware of the terms of the settlement.  But mere weeks later, a new Thursday Friday tote, featuring an image of Miu Miu's $1750 "Hobo" bag, hit T/F's website:



I commented on this seemingly reckless decision in one of my CATWALK JUSTICE columns on Friday afternoon, people; you're reading it, right?)


Now, Women's Wear Daily has reported that Thursday Friday has been knocked off: counterfeit versions of the "Together Bag" have been found on eBay, and the company isn't happy about it.  Since the Birkin "Together Bag" has been removed from T/F's website, we can probably assume the company's settlement with Hermès forbids T/F from continuing to sell it. So why is T/F concerned about counterfeit versions of the bag (assuming it has no legal obligation to police the Internet for knockoffs under the settlement agreement)?


Well, it seems Thursday Friday uses the term "Together Bag" for its entire line of meta-bags, so even if the offending eBay listings don't employ the "Thursday Friday" trademark, the company is still concerned about damage to its "Together Bag" mark.  T/F's creative director, Roni Brunn, wisely emphasized concerns about the "quality standards" of the bag in her interview with WWD, keeping an eye on the company's broader legal strategy of invoking that not-quite-absolute defense to trademark infringement, parody.  In Brunn's words: "In this case, imitation is an unintentional form of comedy . . . .  If the bags were better made, we'd buy them, too."  I sense an IP lawyer behind the scenes.


How's that for meta-meta-fashion?

[This post is for entertainment and informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship among any individuals or entities.  Any views expressed herein are those of the writer on the particular date of this post, and should not necessarily be attributed to his law firm or its clients.]