Cartier in row with a cheeky Parson’s student

From The Telegraph’s website:

Could Cartier put an end to fashion spoofs?

Jewellery brand Cartier have taken legal action after a New York student produced a profane spoof of their branding.

BY Bibby Sowray | 14 March 2013



Over the last month or so the fashion market has become flooded with ‘parody branding’ – when famous, iconic logos are taken and given a comical twist, such as What about Yves?’s ‘Ain’t Laurent without Yves’ tees, Reasons’ ‘Celine (Dion)’ branding, Conflict of Interests’ ‘Ill Sander’ logo and Brian Lichtenberg’s ‘Homies’ play on Hermès. Celebs have got in on the trend too, with the likes of Cara Delevingne and Rihanna sporting various spoofs and boosting their popularity further.

But now it appears the trend may have gone too far, with luxury jewellery brand Cartier taking one such jovial spoof to court.

The brand in question is KTHANKSBYE, which was set up by a Parsons The New School for Design graphic design masters student known only as Fahad. Fahad created a small range of baseball caps and knitted beanies featuring a profane play on Cartier’s branding (hint: swap the ‘ar’ for ‘un’) using the same typeface and brand colours – an idea which sprang from a friend complaining about the jewellers poor customer service, reports The Daily Beast .

The hats took off with passers-by asking the student where he’d got it from, so he asked his friends in New York boutique American Two Shot to stock the 26 pieces he had produced.

Cartier, not surprisingly, took offence to the use of their storied name and contacted Fahad saying they see the hats as an infringement of their brand and ordering the student to cease production. Fahad though struggles to see why Cartier are so irate, saying “At the end of the day they’re just hats.”

While Cartier’s reaction is not in the least bit surprising, what is surprising is that more brands haven’t done the same thing. Balenciaga, Givenchy, Jil Sander, Kenzo, Hermès, Céline, Commes des Garçons and Gucci are just a few of the big name brands that have had their logos used in such a way – we wonder if they’ll be doing to same thing sometime soon.



2 thoughts on “Cartier in row with a cheeky Parson’s student

  1. There’s clever and then there’s just vulgar. If Fahad’s idea had some kind of merit I’d be more inclined to defend him, but taking an iconic logo, changing it to a vulgar term and patting yourself on the back doesn’t get you too far. And this is coming from someone who’s self-admittedly too vulgar himself most times!

    But then again I’d expect nothing less from a Parson’s student.

    I went to school at Mannes school of music which was directly next door to Parsons and all that school was really good for was hitting on the female students who used to chain smoke outside in front of the school. The art students at Parsons used to outsmoke the musicians like 10-1.

    1. Haha, what an interesting story! Love it! Well yes, this is definitely not a question of tastefulness but rather of seeking attention. Fashion is like that sometimes.

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