Zara is pushing back on claims that it illegally copied a popular style of Amiri jeans.
Earlier this year, Atelier Luxury Group, LLC, owner and creator of luxury denim brand Amiri, filed a $3 million lawsuit against Zara over allegations that the fast-fashion juggernaut copied Amiri’s famous MX2 jeans, which retail for $1,150. The Amiri jeans feature pleated leather paneling above the knee, as well as zippers at the knee and along the outer thigh, similar to Zara’s Combination Skinny Biker Jeans, which retail for $50.
According to a recent report in The Fashion Law, Zara responded to the argument by claiming Amiri lacks the protectable trade dress rights needed for legal action—a technicality that may work in the fast-fashion brand’s favor.
In order to win on the basis of trade dress infringement, Amiri would need to identify a distinctive mark or configuration that was replicated by Zara. Basically, the luxury brand would have to prove its style is unique. And with a number of other moto pants on the market from brands big and small, finding proof of intentional infringement could be a challenge.
Zara argued Amiri’s MX2 jeans are “functional, generic, ornamental, and/or not distinctive.”
The fast-fashion brand also refuted Amiri’s claims that the luxury label suffered damages as a result of the alleged infringement.
In the lawsuit, Amiri pointed out that Zara is a “serial infringer.” In 2019 and 2015, streetwear clothing brand Rebel8 and clothing and footwear company Seychelles Imports, LLC, respectively, sued Zara over similar disputes. Both cases were eventually dismissed.