Yves Saint Laurent file lawsuit against What About Yves founder Jeanine Heller
What About Yves and its founder Jeanine Heller have landed in hot water, after a lawsuit has been filled against them by the powerful luxury French fashion house that inspired its name and designs – Yves Saint Laurent.
The company that owns YSL's rights – Luxury Goods International (LGI) – took the legal action last week in the Southern District of New York court against the brand's parody 'Ain't Laurent Without Yves' design. The lawsuit claims that What About Yves and Heller have committed infringement, trademark dilution, false designation of origin crimes.
In 2012, Yves Saint Laurent filed a registration for the Saint Laurent name with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) after its new creative director Hedi Slimane, decided to pull the 'Yves' from the name. This famously led to a lot of controversy, which sparked Jeanine Heller to start her label and sell her 'Ain't Laurent Without Yves' creations. In April 2013, What About Yves filed their registration with the USPTO – despite the fact that the company had already received a warning for copyright infringement.
YSL alleges that the t-shirts continued to be sold by Heller, and that the French fashion house had sent several unanswered letters urging her to stop. The lawsuit asks Heller to immediately cease the sales of the 'illegal' designs and pay damages for trademark violations.
This isn't the first time Heller has found herself in the middle of a court saga with a powerful French fashion house – Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel filed a lawsuit against her in October last year, after What About Yves designed and sold a t-shirt with the iconic Chanel CC logo.