It came as a surprise to see Everlane support Gucci in their recent scuffle with Fast Fashion brand, Forever21. Everlane, a San Francisco based fashion line, that prides itself on low prices, offers sustainably made, minimal pieces – a far cry from Italian fashion giant, Gucci.

Why is Everlane supporting Gucci?

Everlane made a formal statement on their Instagram account this week, declaring their solidarity with Gucci, and it's fighting against Knock-offs. Apparently, Forever21 has taken Gucci’s trademark stripe patterns and has been using them for their own trendy pieces.

This isn’t the first time Forever21 has been accused of stealing stripes. They’ve also snagged the iconic three-stripe pattern from sports brand, Adidas. Nonetheless, Forever21 is fighting back, claiming that Gucci shouldn’t monopolize stripes in the world of fashion.

Gucci files against Forever21

It should come as no surprise that Gucci isn’t planning on backing down anytime soon. They explained their position in this statement with Refinery29 saying, “Gucci has today taken steps to finally put an end to U.S. mass retailer Forever21’s blatant exploitation of Gucci’s famous and iconic blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripe webbing trademarks…and has brought counterclaims against Forever 21 for willful trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.”

Why does Gucci think Forever21 is competition?

Fast fashion brands have always imitated high-end companies, and created cheaper substitutions, or knock-offs, or dupes, depending on the connotation you want.

After all, this was the mission statement of Zara founder, Amancio Ortega, when he created his wildly successful, international chain.

Fast fashion lives and breathes on cheap imitation, which is why it’s strange that Gucci should even identify Forever21 as unfair competition. Are the shoppers in American Forever21 stores the same individuals who would spend their money in Gucci?

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It seems very unlikely.

Gucci makes an ethical stand to prevent customer disloyalty

Forever21 teeny boppers are not exactly the sort of clientele Gucci is desperate to keep. However, Gucci may be more concerned with losing their divas, because as strange as it seems, it’s entirely possible that fashionistas will abandon Gucci for Forever21.

In this fashion war, it’s clear that stripes are not what’s at stake. The real problem is that consumers no longer discriminate between artful, original pieces and cheap trends. And if that’s the case, Gucci is fighting a noble, but useless battle.

Consumers may want what is iconic, trademark and recognizably glamorous, but it seems that they’re only willing to pay the lowest bidder. With this sort of mass mentality, there’s very little that legal wars will do to dissuade trend-chasing consumerism.