Well, that’s not entirely true. Your initial thought that it’s too good to be true is accurate. What you can actually get for that price is a canvas tote screen-printed with a Louis Vuitton handbag. Along with LV, you can also get Céline, Chanel, and Proenza Schouler from My Other Bag (MOB), a company that stems from “a reflection of a passion for handbags.” The California-based company has seemingly followed in the steps of Thursday Friday (TF) in taking a print of a luxury handbag and putting it on a much more affordable canvas tote.
In case you’ve forgotten, TF famously created the "Together Bag", a canvas tote decorated with a screenprint of a Birkin bag. Hermès sued; TF’s motion to dismiss was denied; and the case eventually settled. What Hermès had going for it was that the Birkin bag is iconic enough to have secondary meaning because its very design signifies its source. That didn’t stop TF, though, as the company went on to take inspiration from several other designer bags, including Mui Mui, Proenza Schouler (pictured above), and Balenciaga, which probably would have a much harder time showing secondary meaning.
The same will likely be true with respect to many of MOB’s totes. There are, however, a few that have raised some flags for us. Most notably are the Louis Vuitton screenprints. The checkered pattern on MOB’s “London” tote is a pattern that is trademarked by LV and so is the famous “Toile Monogram” pattern seen (in some variation) on MOB’s “Zoey” tote. The biggest issue in claiming trademark infringement will be showing that consumers are likely to be confused as to the source of the goods (i.e. consumers buying the canvas tote are under the impression that they are buying a genuine LV or that LV endorsed the use of its marks, or LV could show post-sale confusion). But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a plausible trade dress claim, as there is a strong argument that LV’s handbags have achieved secondary meaning.
Time will tell if LV, a notoriously vigilant protector of its trademarks, decides to pursue MOB and its canvas totes.