近來在街頭時尚圈鬧得沸沸揚揚的，無非是紐約傳奇街頭品牌 Supreme 狀告女性街頭品牌 Married to the Mob 侵權一案了。日前知名 Blog 博客 ANIMAL 爆出“Supreme 于兩周前才獲得商標權”，更是讓這件事陷入了真假難辨的境地，是 Supreme 有意通過此案獲利 $1,000 萬美元，或是 Married to the Mob 惡搞 Box Logo 的行爲過于惡劣，最終誰輸誰贏我們仍難下定論。一方面，支持 Leah McSweeney 的陣營立場依舊堅定，並斥責 Supreme 有”歧視婦女”的嫌疑；而另一方面，Supreme 官方一直沒有做明確的表態，造成流言漫天飛。而繼著名藝術家 Barbara Kruger 發表看法後，此番 Hypebeast 的老朋友，球鞋專家與時尚評論人 Gary Warnett 就特地撰寫了 《KNOWLEDGE REIGNS SUPREME》 一文，來分析 Supreme 與 Married to the Mob 雙方各自的狀況。下面我們爲大家帶來本文的精選部分，完整內容就請前往 Gary 的 Blog 查看。
Everyone loves to gossip, and watching beef unfold digitally is an undeniable pleasure. Spectating on Splay back in the day or witnessing Superfuture rumour mongering and being a voyeur to some TMZ-esque talk of Downtown scandals was entertaining. Long before that, I liked the litigious post-exodus angry Steve Rocco era of skating, where Simon Woodstock could seemingly be erased from being through legal threats from a man who once worked those first amendment rights to the absolute limit.
The streetwear and men’s style blog realm frequently has slow news days — that means closer looks, a GQ photoshoot, another generic lookbook or a teaser for a summer blockbuster. So it’s understandable that the recent Supreme and Married to the Mob legal talk, claim and counterclaim has been dissected in order to get that precious traffic. I’ve been a little perplexed at the amount of people rooting for MOB in this situation though, painting a curious picture of the oppressed women against “the man” dwelling in his vast box logo covered corporate headquarters, because that’s not the case.
I respect Supreme a great deal for their ability to stay relevant and capabilities for keeping it thorough — that’s not to say that everything they put out is relevant to my interests, but they’re operating on so many channels right now that the old GAP for skaters summary is fully deaded in favour of a bigger picture. So I can understand why they’re trying to stop a trademark. If someone tries to jack your logo with a dose of witless misogyny at the end, you’re probably going to get a bit litigious — it’s a case of battling direct appropriation re upped to make some quick cash. Was Barbara’s name mentioned when the original Supreme Bitch shirt was put together? I wouldn’t know, but it only ever seems to get thrown around when things get negative.
Get popular by doing things well and schadenfreude is an inevitability at any perceived stumble. The problem with not talking too much is that it breeds assumption. Googling Supreme will bring up a mass of message board lore. Mythmaking is an inevitability, like the tale of Shortypop being paid off for the box homage (contrary to the occasionally distributed cheque image, that apocryphal payoff never happened) or Supreme not having the Supreme trademark, which dates back to a remark made in an Interview piece — since then they’ve obtained trademarks. Part of having a trademark is that you’re obliged to defend it — failing to defend it can result in losing it. Then there’s America’s right to common law trademark ownership. So what’s the big problem here?
Supreme have recently filed an answer to the counterclaim from Married to to the Mob and it makes for more interesting reading. Married to the Mob has put out some strong work solo and alongside KAWS, ALIFE, Colette and Nike (those Chanel references on that shoe are homage done very right) over the years. A female-centric streetwear brand is still a part of the market that could be taken by someone willing to be as fastidious as the luxury lines we like to ape, but it’s a market that has only been partially tapped. The Supreme Bitch tee was funny nine years ago for its “is it or isn’t it?” collaboration status (see also, Zoopreme) back in the Retail Mafia era when the online hype sector seemed significantly more niche than today’s big numbers and mass appeal. As its own line, it’s just a Supreme bite, eating off of the Supreme brand’s popularity. If you’re granted one loose collaboration, are you allowed to make a ton more on your own several years later and go to get the trademark for both labels?