Originally posted 2014-07-29 11:00:29.

By Breanna Pendilton | amdlawgroup.com

12435731234_7dbce5b386_zThe Michael Kors brand is arguably one of the most expensive and well-known labels in today’s fashion world. But these same characteristics, (expensive and well-known) are exactly what’s destroying the reputation of this brand. Outlet stores and small business are jacking down the prices, and while the good ole’ Michael Kors’ stores still exist, customers are much more apt to buying them cheaper at other discount stores and retailers.

The word for it is called dilution. Dilution occurs when a famous mark’s reputation and/or distinctiveness is being impaired or harmed. I think it’s safe to say that a high fashion brand like Michael Kors’ reputation is being impaired and harmed every day when their expensive designer bags are being sold on street corners (literally). But who’s to blame? Is it the outlet stores (Although they make their money from marking down all items, not just Michael Kors)? Is it the person that buys the product and then sells it for cheap on the street or out of the trunk of their car (Who, by the way, is probably protected by the first sale doctrine if it was first bought legally)? Or is it the Michael Kors’ brand itself (Who, after all, allows its items to be sold in outlet and discount stores)?

Each of the mentioned conclusions probably all help contribute to the demise of the Michael Kors’ brand. The brand is becoming quite common and according to Robin Lewis, “Is being slapped on everything and being worn by everybody!” Coach, Tommy Hilfiger, and other popular brands have faced this same battle. The only sure way that one can protect their famous brand from being diluted in any way is to simply not sell the brand at all. After all, how famous can your brand be if everyone can’t wear it?
AMD Law’s Tip of the Day: If you are a fashion designer, know the difference between being “marked down” or “ripped off”.

Sources:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/robinlewis/2014/07/17/the-coming-crash-of-michael-kors-take-it-to-the-bank/

Image Credit: https://flic.kr/p/jWUnDd

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