Remember Supreme Italia? The bootleg brand founded by Michele di Pierro (53) and his son Marcello (24) has been battling the real Supreme in court since di Pierro's fugazi operation capped off several years of churning out knock-off 'Preme by opening a flagship store in Shanghai in 2019. Last year, Supreme secured its Chinese trademark and booted Supreme Italia from the country; just this past week, it finally won a major court case against the di Pierro's operation, putting a major nail in Supreme Italia's coffin.
Bloomberg reports that a London court has found the Supreme Italia founders guilty of fraud, sentencing Michele and Marcello to eight and three years in jail, respectively. The di Pierro's London-based International Brand Firm Ltd. was simultaneously slapped with a 7.5 million pound fine (approximately $10.36 million) to be paid to the real Supreme.
Michele and Marcello "hijacked every facet of the company’s identity and plagiarized it," said Judge Martin Beddoe following the guilty judgment. "The brazenness of the offending is as remarkable as the dishonesty."
Since about 2015, the di Pierros were snapping up various global copyrights for the Supreme brand before the New York company made its own filings. The move, while technically legal, was pretty clearly in bad faith and even mislead Samsung to nearly collaborate with Supreme Italia.
Of course, Michele would have you believe otherwise. "When I filed for registration in Italy, I did it in good faith," he said in 2019. "I didn’t know [Supreme] even existed. It wasn’t popular in Italy. There wasn’t even a store."
An arrest warrant has been reissued for the di Pierros — the father and son weren't actually present for the trial — and it remains to be seen whether Supreme will actually receive any of the money that it won, considering that Michele's International Brand Firm Ltd. has only 300 pounds in its coffers. It's nonetheless a satisfying victory for 'Preme, which recently opened its own Milanese store as if to further snub its nose at the counterfeiters.