Does The Shoe Fit? Atlanta Footwear Designer Says Louis Vuitton Stole His Trademarked Design
Harlem-born, Atlanta-based shoe designer Antonio Brown says Louis Vuitton has stolen his trademark design and now he’s suing.
According to Brown, the designer clothes and accessories company has used his trademark design for its “On the Road” sneaker collection. Brown’s trademark design is a toe plate on the front of his LVL XIII (Level Thirteen) designer shoes. All of this over a toe plate. You can take a look at it here.
Brown initially sued Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) and Louis Vuitton North America for trademark infringement. According to Brown, LVMH has been released from the lawsuit and Louis Vuitton North America has yet to respond, requesting an extension, which Brown and his attorney’s granted. The company now has until September 22.
“For me, I just want justice. I don’t want any more confusion in the marketplace. This was a trademark I established and put in the market,” Brown told Atlanta Journal Constition.
Brown launched LVL XIII in New York in 2012 and in October of that year, he crafted a luxury shoe design that featured a metal plate into the front sole of the shoe. Brown makes the high-end sneakers with exotic skins and leathers. In March, Brown filed for a trademark and soon the shoe became popular with celebrities, such as model Tyson Beckford and singers Chris Brown and Jason Derulo.
Retailing for $500 to $1,200, they were sold in luxury boutiques like Fred Segal in Los Angeles. And according to Brown, LVL XII rang up nearly $500,000 in sales in the first two months.
The toe plate appeared on Vuitton’s Spring/Summer “On the Road” collection in February 2014 featured on high and low top sneakers. He says retail buyers and customers queried if he had a deal with Vuitton or if he had copied their shoes. “They released the collection into the market, sold out and it was detrimental to my brand in the process,” said Brown.