Founder and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute, Professor Susan Scafidi, was quoted in a Los Angeles Magazine article about a west coast trademark infringement case.
In July 2018, Fuentes sent a cease and desist letter to Lauren Moshi as a courtesy before pursuing a trademark infringement case—but he didn’t have a chance to take the case to court. In an aggressive legal maneuver, Lauren Moshi preemptively sued Fuentes and Lethal Amounts, arguing that Fuentes did not have the right to the trademark to begin with. The nearly yearlong legal saga that ensued sapped resources from Fuentes’s already small operation. Over the course of the proceedings, Fuentes says he had to postpone events, dip into his savings, and borrow from friends.
But in late June, a judge dismissed Lauren Moshi’s suit. Now, Fuentes is preparing to file his own lawsuit for trademark infringement in the hopes of stopping Lauren Moshi’s use of the design.
Fuentes is not the first artist to accuse Lauren Moshi of appropriating a design with roots in L.A.’s urban culture. At least three of those who have accused Lauren Moshi of intellectual property theft, including Fuentes, come from Latino subcultures that have been fetishized by predominantly white institutions.
“What we’re seeing here is a microcosm of fashion’s fascination with the other side of the track,” says lawyer Susan Scafidi, the founder and president of the Fashion Law Institute and a professor at the Fordham University School of Law, who reviewed the case for Los Angeles. “This is L.A. versus L.A.”