Goyard has taken a firm stance to set the record straight about a suspiciously logo-covered jacket that DJ Khaled wore to Sunday evening’s MTV Music Video Awards. It turns out, the “Goyard” printed bomber jacket that the Snapchat-happy DJ wore to the Epic Records afterparty for the event was a “counterfeit” item, according to the 163-year old Paris-based luxury brand.
The brand took to its Twitter account on Tuesday morning after receiving tweets from fans, who were confused as to the origin of the jacket, with many asking: “Does Goyard make clothes?” and “Is this fake or just a one-off for Khaled?” In response, Goyard, which is known for its pricey printed trunks and leather goods, has stated that the jacket is a “Total Fake!” Moreover, it held: “Hopefully DJ Kahled used genuine Goyard silk scarves [to make the jacket], out of respect for Goyard and as not to promote counterfeiting.” (The aforementioned tweets have been deleted by the brand).
Because the jacket at issue utilizes Goyard’s intellectual property, including its trademark-protected name and geometric Goyardine print, both of which maintain federal trademark protection in the U.S., the jacket amounts to trademark infringement if the textiles are not authentic. The jacket could also give rise to trademark counterfeiting, a greater charge, as the brand has registered the design and its name in the class of goods that covers garments (class 25), including for use on “jackets, coats, and raincoats.”
Moreover, even if the textiles are authentic, Khaled is walking a fine line in terms of legality as the jacket, which was not made by Goyard, certainly appears to be at least associated with the brand given its incorporation of the Goyard trademarks. And while Goyard does not, in fact, make clothing, Goyard’s legal team very well may have some founded claims based on Khaled’s use of its trademarks and whether consumers would be confused as to the source of his “Goyard” jacket (aka would someone think Louis Vuitton created, endorsed or was somehow involved in the creation of Khaled’s jacket), as that is the key inquiry in a trademark suit.
There could a relatively strong argument for confusion here – as indicated by the many Twitter comments – and as a result, this might be an easy one for Goyard to win in court. It is unlikely to get to that point, though, especially now that the two parties have seemingly made peace, as indicated by their most recent Twitter exchanges.
UPDATE (8/30/16): DJ Khaled has since tweeted, “They don’t want me to use REAL Goyard scarves so I did! I’m fat boy lot my vibes is custom Goyard Im make pants,shirts using your scarves to.”