Nicole Kim


A snaking line of customers that wraps around the block leading to a minimalist, yet iconoclastic store can only mean one thing: drop day. Rain or shine, devoted fans of brands such as Supreme, Palace, and Off-White, among others, are willing to spend their time and money for the opportunity to cop the latest and most exclusive items. In recent years, the rise of streetwear has projected once-underground skater labels to the forefront of youth culture, mainstream society, and high fashion. Not only has this movement affected niche designers and traditional luxury names, but streetwear has also reshaped the consumer experience. However, the continued evolution and globalization of fashion, fueled by the near-instantaneous speed of the internet and social media, has brought the seemingly novel issue of legal fakes to the forefront. In reality, legal fakes are a face- lifted version of counterfeiting and traditional trademark squatting. By “legally” registering a stolen trademark, impostor companies run their entire business under the guise of a well-known brand. To address this threat, this Note examines the intricacies of a typical legal fake scheme, from its shady origins, to widespread distribution of fake products, to its eventual demise in litigation. This Note further proposes a solution requiring multinational cooperation in order to seal the cracks in international trademark law through which legal fakes have slipped.