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October 29, 2010

Fine unwashed arrogance


The Hells Angels motorcycle club is suing Alexander McQueen, Saks Fifth Avenue and Zappos.com for infringing on its intellectual property.

But handbags, jewelry and clothing bearing the Hells Angels skull-and-wings Death Head design could lead to more more than legal trouble (via Quotulatiousness).

The suit alleges that Saks and Zappos -- without the motorcycle gang's permission -- have been selling Alexander McQueen items with names like the "Hells Angels Jacquard Box Dress" and the "Hells Four-finger Ring," which retail for $1,565 and $495, respectively.

"This isn't just about money, it's about membership," said Hells Angels lawyer Fritz Clapp, a Los Angeles-based biker who sports a red mohawk. "If you've got one of these rings on, a member might get really upset that you're an imposter."

An easy mistake to make, I am certain you will agree.


Hells Angels’ intellectual property attorney, Fritz Clapp comments.

Clapp had received a text message from a club member’s fiancee who was shopping online and saw a “Hells four-finger ring” on Saksfifthavenue.com that was strikingly similar to the winged skull the club had used as its logo for decades. Clapp continued his online search and soon also found a “Hells knuckle duster” clutch purse for sale on Zappos.com.

“Then I go to Alexander McQueen’s site and I find not only is the word ‘Hells’ used on those things, but ‘Hells Angels,’ the whole phrase, on a pashmina scarf and a Jacquard dress,” Clapp said. “If you’d said to the designer, ‘Just give me a side view skull with feathers coming off of it and they’d never seen the death head or a Hells Angels patch and they’d just come from Mars, it’s still closer than comfort.”

Sadly, the Alexander McQueen knuckle duster ring is no longer available; the Alexander McQueen knuckle duster box clutch is still listed at $2,325.00.

Vogue has more images from the Alexander McQueen spring/summer 2011 line.

Old school radical chic: Hunter S. Thompson and the Hell's Angels on the CBC in 1967 is reminiscent of the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 29, 2010 07:48 AM