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October 29, 2010

Fine unwashed arrogance

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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.

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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