A new live-events platform has acquired LA Fashion Week, a tried-and-true organizer of semi-annual fashion shows whose trademark for the name LA Fashion Week is being disputed by a competing Los Angeles fashion show organizer.
N4XT Experiences announced on Jan. 31 it bought LA Fashion Week and will organize a bevy of fall/winter shows on April 1-3 with the help of LA Fashion Week founder Arthur Chipman. The shows and events will return to the Petersen Automotive Museum and add Spring Place Beverly Hills as a new location.
For Chipman, the purchase marks a seven-year rise in the Los Angeles Fashion Week world, but not without its battles and bruises. Chipman organized his first LA Fashion Week in October 2015 after moving from Canada where he said he was the development director at Vancouver Fashion Week. But as soon as he arrived in LA, the fashion fur began to fly.
In 2013, Chipman registered the name LA Fashion Week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and re-registered it in 2017. He then, according to competing fashion show organizers, told them they couldn’t use the term LA Fashion Week in their name, marketing or advertising even though they questioned his right to trademark a name that had been commonly used by everyone before he showed up.
One organizer, Veronica Welch-Kerzner, started using the term Style Fashion Week to market her fashion-week events because she didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer and didn’t want the hassle. She is no longer in business.
Another fashion week organizer, Erik Rosete, used the name Art Hearts Fashion to market his series of fashion shows, but he said he owns the Lafashionweek.com and lafw.com domain names and felt the trademark was an overreach. LA Fashion Week has always been housed on the internet at lafw.net.
Still, Rosete started to incorporate LA Fashion Week in his marketing, and in 2020, Chipman sued Rosete in federal court for using the term LA Fashion Week. Months later, the case was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson.
Now Rosete is suing Chipman for presenting falsified documents to get his trademark approved. “I need to sue him to get the trademark removed so he can’t weaponize it,” Rosete said. “The weird part is he sold the company. So, who is going to come to the new trial, the new owners?”
When contacted, Chipman said he didn’t want to comment about pending litigation. Instead, he wanted to emphasize that the new venture is ready to build a better LA Fashion Week. “I want this entire platform and the market to be better,” he said.
N4XT Experiences, which did not return messages seeking comment on the trademark litigation, is a new venture between a handful of fashion and business experts.
The principals in the live-events platform are: Ciarra Pardo, former chief creative officer of the Rihanna brand Fenty; Imad Izemrane, president and co-founder of Spring Place, a members-only workspace and social club in Beverly Hills and New York; entertainment industry veteran Marcus Ticotin; financial industry veteran Keith Abell; and Jackie Trebilcock, managing director of NY Fashion Tech Lab.
They are have plans to build up the brand in a city that hasn’t had a big cohesive fashion week since IMG and Smashbox Studios left the LA Fashion Week scene in 2008 after five years of high-end shows in one venue.
“Building on the phenomenal pioneering work Arthur has done in creating LAFW in its current form, N4XT Experiences is excited to dramatically accelerate growth by introducing new sponsors, designers and celebrities to the experience,” said Izemrane, president of LAFW and co-founder of N4XT Experiences, in a statement. “Most importantly, we are committed to making LAFW a force for advancing awareness and solutions to the critical issue of sustainability in fashion production, design and technology.”