In what might be the fastest settlement the fashion world has ever seen, Alexander McQueen, Saks, and Zappos have reached an agreement with members-only motorcycle club Hell’s Angels over McQueen’s use of their trademarked winged skull design. But while the settlement may have been speedy, it’s certainly not cheap — and it’s fascinatingly complicated.
Hell’s Angels lawyer Fritz Clapp told WWD that, as part of the settlement, the three companies named in the lawsuit have agreed to remove the items from their stores and destroy them. But that’s not all.
According to Clapp, the companies have “also agreed…to recall merchandise that has already been sold and destroy it.” Emphasis ours. In other words, McQueen, Saks, and Zappos have to hunt down the customers that bought the items, demand they return them (presumably at no small cost), and destroy them.
Zappos has it the easiest — at least they have their digital transactions to go on — but what about customers who paid cash in store? And while the settlement is undoubtedly legally binding, can they really force the customers to return the goods? Our guess is that if Saks, Zappos, and Alexander McQueen can prove they went to the appropriate lengths to get the items back, that’ll be good enough — but the Hell’s Angels certainly seem like they mean business.
The trademarked items consist of a three-finger “Hell’s Knuckle Duster” Ring, a matching clutch, a $1,595 dress, and a $560 scarf — all of which can be seen here — and all of which feature a winged death’s head design which the Hell’s Angels only offers to members. Fair enough, but we find it hard to believe anyone carrying an Alexander McQueen clutch would be marauding as a Hell’s Angel. Then again, fashion is nothing if not democratic, right?
Also, we fully plan on keeping an eagle eye on eBay — that $495 ring just tripled in market value.