Antonio Brown 29 who founded NYC-based LVL XIII Brands last year, has filed suit against LVMH Moet Hennesey Louis Vuitton SA, Louis Vuitton Malletier SA and Louis Vuitton North America Inc.
LVL XIII claims in its complaint, which was filed last week in the Southern District of New York, that it is a “luxury lifestyle” brand that specializes in shoes, including sneakers, which retail for between $500 and $1200, and that its designs have been popular among the likes of Chris Brown, model Tyson Beckford, rappers Nas and Jim Jones, and a handful of pro athletes. The brand, which began selling shoes in August 2013, states that it was the first company to employ a “distinctive rectangular metal plate [that adorns] the front of the shoe toe” in 2013, and this feature has since become “distinctive in the relevant market
LVL XIII alleges that Louis Vuitton is “competing unfairly” with its brand by selling footwear that is “confusingly similar” to its own (such as the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014 sneaker pictured above).
According to LVL’s complaint, Louis Vuitton is “exploiting the goodwill of LVL XIII in an effort to mislead” consumers and in “a deliberate attempt to divert sales away from LVL XIII.” Brown states that as a result of the growing market for men’s fashion sneakers, “in late February of 2014, Louis Vuitton began advertising its own line of men’s footwear featuring a metal front toe plate on the outsole.”