Handbag Supplier Accuses Tommy Hilfiger of Trademark Infringement

Leather handbag company GiGi New York, owned by Graphic Image (asi/57992), has issued a cease and desist order to Tommy Hilfiger for trademark infringement. GiGi New York claims the fashion giant has used the “GiGi” trademark on handbags and in the marketing of its fall/winter collection.

During New York Fashion Week last week, Hilfiger launched TOMMYxGiGi, a collaboration with model and reality TV star Gigi Hadid. GiGi New York argues that Hadid doesn’t use the unique upper and lower case style that the supplier has trademarked.

Tom Glazer, owner of Graphic Image and GiGi New York, said Hilfiger responded to the cease and desist by stating it did “not intend to recognize” his company’s rights in the trademarked logo.

“Our complete offer was to license our trademark through the end of the year because we knew it was too late for them to stop,” Glazer told Counselor. “We’ve expressed our interest in seeing clarification for the purpose of avoiding consumer confusion.”

The third-generation firm says it owns certain U.S. federal trademark rights to “GiGi” and that it has similar rights throughout Europe. The company added that it is “positioned to defend them on both continents.”

The supplier, whose products are almost all manufactured in the U.S., cited concerns about being linked to Hilfiger’s past incidents with unsafe factory conditions overseas. Additionally, the company fears Hilfiger’s promotion of synthetic leather bags will harm GiGi’s reputation for using genuine leather in its bags. “This is kind of thing that would end up in court, but I think they know full well I’m not about to go there with it,” Glazer said. “It’s a losing proposition financially.”

Tommy Hilfiger’s press representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Throughout September, GiGi New York has opened a pop-up shop in New York City’s Meatpacking District for customers to see all of its GiGi logoed products. The supplier also sells purses, journals, cases and more through the promotional product industry.