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Tuesday 23 September 2014

Roberto Cavalli sued by graffiti artists

Bibby Sowray

Published 28/08/2014 | 18:00

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A group of California-based graffiti artists are suing the Italian brand for allegedly using their artwork on a Just Cavalli collection

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Roberto Cavalli S.p.A.is being sued by a group of North California-based graffiti artist who accuse the company of copying their work and using it on a range of clothing for the Just Cavalli sister line.

The suit was filed at the Central District of California court by Jason Williams, Victor Chapa and Jeffrey Rubin, a group of graffiti artists collectively known as Revok, Reyes and Steel.

According to The Fashion Law, the three men accuse Cavalli of infringing their copyrights and violating the Lanham Act by producing a "clothing and accessories collection in which every square inch of every piece (including clothing, bags, backpacks, and shoes) was adorned with graffiti art." They claim that the graffiti art in question is a work they completed in San Francisco's Mission district in 2012.

"If this literal misappropriation was not bad enough, Cavalli sometimes chose to do its own painting over that of the artists - superimposing the Just Cavalli name in spray-paint style as if were part of the original work. Sometimes, Cavalli added what appears to be a signature, creating the false impression that Roberto Cavalli himself was the artist," adds the court document.

The artists are asking that the collection be discontinued and requesting damages. "Nothing is more antithetical to the outsider 'street cred' that is essential to graffiti artists," says the document, "than association with European chic, luxury and glamour - of which Cavalli is the epitome. To anyone who recognizes their work, Plaintiffs are now wide open to charges of 'selling out.'"

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