Home / General Clothing / Shoes / Jeffrey Campbell vs. Forever 21: Who Wins?


I’m guilty. I admit it. I love affordable options, or “knock offs” as some may say. I would rather spend $28 on these Forever 21 leopard print wedges than $150 for a similar Jeffrey Campbell pair.

Granted, if you want quality that will last more than one season, go with the Jeffrey Campbell.  But for a young unemployed student, $28 sounds pretty great. Not everyone agrees though. Especially Jeffrey Campbell.

He filed suit against Forever 21 for trade dress infringement (NOT trademark infringement as some other sites have said. That wouldn’t make any sense!)  Trade dress allows for protection of the visual appearance of something, as long as it is not functional or is not the cheapest/most efficient way to create something. The trade dress must also be distinctive, meaning when you, the consumer, see it, you immediately think of Jeffrey Campbell and only Jeffrey Campbell.

While Jeffrey Campbell’s shoe design is not functional (in fact, that heel arguably makes the shoe less functional!), it isn’t very distinctive. A quick google search for leopard print wedges brings up multiple shopping options.

From couturehardwear.com


From shopreflection.com


From flyjane.net

Basically, Jeffrey Campbell’s shoe is not distinctive. Therefore, he doesn’t qualify for trade dress protection and shouldn’t win.

Forever 21 Legal Team, you can pay me for this research in store credit. Thank you.


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