Hermes sues NFT MetaBirkin creator

ANIS ZALANI
ANIS ZALANI
21 Jan 2022 04:08pm
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Hermes Birkin bags are arguably the holy grail of handbags. They are famously expensive and difficult to buy.

But the digital sphere has given the option of bagging a Birkin, only in digital format. An LA-based digital artist, Mason Rothschild created a Birkin in the form of NFT, called MetaBirkin on OpenSea, an online marketplace for NFT.

Since December last year, Rothschild has sold digital dupes of the Birkin, which appear as fur-covered bags in the brand’s signature silhouette. The first ‘bag’ sold online for US$42,000.

As the world of NFT becomes increasingly intertwined with the real physical world, this unsurprisingly caught the attention of Hermes of course, much to the brand’s dismay.

Now it was reported that Hermes has filed a 47-page complaint to the New York Southern District Court last week.

According to the letter, Rothschild ripped off the famous Birkin trademark by adding the prefix ‘meta’.

In Rothschild’s defense, he said that he was not creating or selling fake Birkin bags. “I’ve made artworks that depict imaginary, fur-covered Birkin bags.”

The First Amendment gives me the right to make and sell art depicting Birkin bags, just as it gave Andy Warhol the right to make and sell art depicting the Campbell’s soup cans.”

In fact, even after OpenSea removed the MetaBirkins from its online platform in response to the cease-and-desist letter from Hermes, Rothschild continued to sell them on his website.

Based on Business of Fashion, Hermes urges with court’s action for Rothschild to cease his activities and surrender the MetaBirkins.com domain name to Hermes as well as pay damages including his profits from selling the digital assets.

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