Was it a Homage or a Hostage?? Roberto Cavalli’s time to face the truth

As Roberto Cavalli is very famous for being “Singular” with his collections (Calling them ‘Just Cavalli’ ) also writing Books and Blog entries by the name ” Just me”, It can be said to come as a shocker that one of his collection has been pointed out to be a complete copy of the works of renowned Graffiti artists REVOK, REYES and STEEL.
As it turns out the three artists have contended that the designer’s “Just Cavalli” label copied the artwork from the trio’s mural in San Francisco’s Mission District.
In a lawsuit which was filled in August 2014, Jason “Revok” Williams, Victor “Reyes” Chapa and Jeffrey “Steel” Rubin alleged that Just Cavalli’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection amounts to copyright infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act.

Fashion is often said to have inspired from street art, but there is a long gap between inspiration and imitation. The matter of fact here is that just because you find it on a street doesn’t mean you can conveniently pick it up and use as your own property. The artists have made sure they make the Fashion house understand what ” In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so” means. They have claimed that Cavalli (by way of its licensee Staff USA, Inc.), along with the retailers Nordstrom, Amazon.com and Zappos.com have palasiarised and used “every square inch” of their mural design in their clothing, bags, backpacks, and shoes.

Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights of an artist is usually a long walk. It is often difficult to prove the differences among the original and the so called Inspired work.

A sigh of relief for the artists: 

A California federal judge, on 14 February 2015 has ruled in favor of Ravok, Reyes and Steel.

Some reports are claiming that such lawsuits can act as a backlash on the street artists, but the reality would be otherwise.
It has come as an eye opener for the designers at large as well as the small time street artists too, their rights are to be protected and not to be exploited.


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