What a strange modern day tale we have here. We just read that during Samsung launch event for Galaxy A8s in China, the South Korea handset maker also announced that it is partnering with streetwear label Supreme in future products. Apparently, even the executives of the fashion label were present, on stage. But here’s the twist: none of the executives were actually from Supreme NY; they were from the other Supreme.
Wait, what? There is another Supreme? Well, as it turns out, yes, there is and it is known as, wait for it… Supreme Italia. TBH, I am not even aware of Supreme Italia’s existence. If you have heard of them, you’d be forgiven too because, Supreme Italia is a legally registered trademark in Italy and hence, Supreme NY, who for some reasons failed to registered itself in Italy (and some other places), can do nothing about it.
This bizarre phenomenon in the fashion industry is known as ‘legal fake’ where, as the name implies, brand is obvious ripoff but somehow is legal because the fake brand managed to register the trademark before the original can do so. It is an exploitation of other businesses’ reputation, but in the case of Supreme NY, they weren’t as ‘clean’ themselves. But we shan’t dig into that. If you are interested, you can Google more information of some of Supreme’s “wrong doings.”
In case you thought Samsung China we mislead by the similarity of the two brands… no, apparently the handset maker is well aware of this. Samsung China’s digital marketing manager, Leo Lau, took to Chinese micro-blogging site, Weibo, saying they (Samsung China) are indeed collaborating with Supreme Italia, NOT Supreme US. He added that the original Supreme has no authorization to sell and market in China, but the legal fake “got the APAC (except Japan) product retail and marketing authorization.”
Honestly, I don’t even know why Samsung is letting its China office pull this off. Not that I am pro-Supreme (I can’t afford anything slapped with Supreme branding, anyways), but collaborating with a legal fake will not go down well with any market.
Source: Luxury Launches.