Dr. Martens Is Taking On The Fast Fashion Copycats

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 4 months ago | News

Image: Dr. Martens campaign featuring Agyness Deyn. Image source.

Dr. Martens shoes are so iconic that it is little wonder why fast fashion brands would want to co-opt their historic significance with cheaply-made knock offs. And this is exactly what forms the basis of an ongoing court case between AirWair International and fast fashion retailers Boohoo, Nasty Gal and Pretty Little Thing.

The latter in particular entered into a confidential settlement agreement with AirWair International in June 2017, in which Pretty Little Thing agreed to cease its infringement of Dr. Martens’ legally-protected footwear designs. Boohoo and Nasty Gal were also put on notice in that same year for their alleged infringement of Dr. Martens shoes. But AirWair International argues that all three fast fashion companies have “willfully continued [such] infringement to this day.”

As a result, Dr. Martens has now filed a multi-million-dollar trademark infringement and dilution, and breach of contract suit against the three brands in a federal court in Northern California. The British brand alleges that these fast fashion retailers have not only been ripping off their “distinctive Dr. Martens trade dress,” but that they have done so “in order to capitalise on the reputation and fame of the Dr. Martens brand.” 

This is problematic on two different levels, because not only do these fast fashion rip offs mislead customers into thinking they are buying the real thing. But, in doing so, these high street brands are also diluting the goodwill of the Dr. Martens brand.

As such, Airwair is seeking permanent injunctive relief that would bar the defendants from making and selling any infringing footwear, as well as seeking actual damages and profits. In order to enforce this, Airwair is calling for a disclosure of “the number of pairs of infringing footwear sold in the United States, internationally, and the gross revenue derived from the sale of the footwear.”

The case is still in court, and it is sadly just one of many such copyright cases ongoing against major fast fashion brands around the globe.

To support the real deal, you can shop our full range of Dr. Martens over here (which are actually 20% off until this Thursday 8 August at midnight – you're welcome!)

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