Like many young and successful people, German fashion designer Philipp Plein likes to showcase his lavish lifestyle on Instagram.
As a result, his feed is full of beautiful woman, exotic locations and an impressive car collection that appears to include a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Lamborghini Urus and Ferrari 812 Superfast. Plein also uses his feed to promote some of his products and this intermingling of things apparently upset Ferrari.
In a post yesterday, Plein showed a “love letter” from Ferrari’s lawyers accusing him of “unlawfully appropriating the goodwill” attached to Ferrari’s trademarks as he posted of a picture of his company’s shoes on the rear window of his 812 Superfast.
The letter didn’t stop there as it said “Ferrari’s trademarks and model cars are associated in your pictures with a lifestyle totally inconsistent with Ferrari’s brand perception, in connection with performers making sexual innuendos and using Ferrari’s cars as props in a matter which is per se distasteful.” The letter went on to claim this tarnished Ferrari’s reputation and caused them “material damage.”
The lawyer then demanded that all pictures referenced in the letter be removed within 48 hours and that Plein stop using Ferrari’s trademark and cars for commercial purposes. They also claimed Plein’s actions will be brought to the “attention of the Courts.”
Plein doesn’t appear to be backing down as he said “I can’t even put in words how disappointed and disgusted I am about this unfair and totally inappropriate claim against me personally.” He went on to say he obviously loves Ferrari and bought his first prancing horse a decade ago. Plein called the letter a form of “blackmail” and noted the incident was sparked by a picture of his personal car on his personal Instagram.
While the letter certainly seems a bit extreme, it appears the automaker isn’t just concerned about scantily clad models. As the letter noted, Plein’s marketing of his shoes in a picture with the 812 Superfast interfered with “Ferrari’s selected licensees which are exclusively entitled to use Ferrari’s trademarks to produce and promote [a] line of shoes [which are] Ferrari branded.”
In essence, the company sounds upset that Plein’s shoes were on a Ferrari and this could potentially detract from official Puma Ferrari shoes which currently retail for between $48 and $78. Of course, it’s important to note these shoes actually feature Ferrari logos and branding, while Plein’s shoes were simply sitting on top of his Ferrari.
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What happens next remains unclear, but it both sides don’t budge it could be a matter for the courts.
H/T to The Fashion Law