In a surprising move streetwear brand Supreme has sued Leah McSweeney's Married To The Mob for $10 million dollars over the brand's popular "Supreme Bitch" design. Originally released as part of the brand's inaugural 2004 collection as a commentary on the men's dominated streetwear landscape, the design has since come to define the label causing Supreme's James Jebbia to seek damages as the design "infringes his trademark rights."

The case is curious for a number of reasons. For instance, the tee was carried at Union in 2004, a shop owned and managed by Jebbia. Furthermore, the original Supreme design is largely based on the work of prolific artist Barbara Kruger, not to mention the number of brands Supreme has reappropriated over the years.

On the other hand, Supreme set out from the beginning to keep their product exclusive and the practically unregulated reproduction of "Supreme Bitch" certainly waters down Supreme's exclusivity and integrity.

McSweeney had the following to say about the case:

More recently, a New York Magazine article has provided a few more details:

In 2004, when 22-year-old Leah McSweeney started a women’s skate-fashion line called Married To The Mob, her first T-shirt was a sort of homage: supreme bitch written in the Supreme (via Kruger) style. Jebbia carried the shirts in Union, another store he owned. As Supreme’s fortunes multiplied, so did Supreme Bitch. Rihanna posted pictures of herself in a Supreme Bitch cap. Karmaloop and Urban Outfitters have sold Supreme Bitch items. In January, McSweeney took what would be a normal step for an upstart clothing label: She filed a trademark application for Supreme Bitch. Two months later, Supreme sued McSweeney for $10 million and demanded she remove the offending items from retailers. According to Jebbia, McSweeney’s shirts aren’t just logo appropriation; they’re “trying to build her whole brand by piggybacking off Supreme.” Though he does remember approving the original Supreme Bitch designs, at the time, “I thought it was just going to be a one-off. Now it’s on hats, T-shirts, towels, mugs, mouse pads.” McSweeney has a different take: “There’s this one Barbara Kruger piece that says, ‘Your comfort is my silence,’ and I can’t help but think that I’m being silenced by Supreme with this lawsuit. I don’t have $250,000 to litigate this case, and they know that.”

UPDATE: On June 24, 2013 reports come in that Supreme has dropped the lawsuit against Married to the MOB, after having reached an amicable solution.

What To Read Next

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.