“A poor original is better than a good imitation.”
― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
In today’s complex global market, companies put endless effort into making their brand stand out amongst various competitors. Clever advertising techniques, product differentiation and price leadership are just a few measures which companies take to protect, evolve and improve their brand name. In the consumer market one thing that is always sketchy and frowned-upon is the idea to take another entity’s intellectual property and run with it. This is an unacceptable method of creating a brand. And this is exactly what Roberto Cavalli has done.
On his Twitter page, Roberto Cavalli claims to be “synonymous with joy and optimism, with glamour and success, with luxury and beauty.” While it is not my objective to argue his definition of “optimism”, “success” and “beauty”, I do however want to ask Mr. Cavalli, success is great but at whose expense? Is it fair, ethical and legally justifiable for Cavalli to take a very well-known, globally recognized and internationally registered trademark of an Islamic Sufi School and claim it as his own? The answer without a doubt is a resounding no!
But again, this is exactly what Cavalli has done. School of Islamic Sufism’sregistered trademark has been illegally used by Cavalli on his new line of Just Cavalli products. There are numerous issues and legal implications for Cavalli’s infringement of a registered trademark. But the issue that I’d like to point out, which is very bothersome and troubling is that you cannot call yourself a designer when the very products that you so “design” are in fact not original and simply put, stolen! The issue is that a designer’s claim to fame is nothing but his/her original designs and astounding creativity. If a designer lacks this basic but essential element, then by all means he/she does NOT earn neither the title nor the reputation of a designer. Cavalli as a fashion designer has done exactly just that. He has replaced creativity, inspiration, ingenuity and imagination with an already existing, registered and holy emblem of a non-profit religious organization.
Cavalli’s unethical action not only doesn’t protect, evolve, or improve his brand, but it destroys his reputation, brand and his name. Cavalli’s action proves that Cavalli is synonymous with copying, infringement of registered trademarks, disrespect for religious groups and theft of intellectual property. Until this trademark infringement is cured his new product should be called “Just Copy” instead of “Just Cavalli.”