Catharsis: Imagining the Forever 21/Anthropologie depositions

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Anthropologie is suing Forever 21 charging blatant rip-offism, charging lower pricesism and general brand quality degradationism. And I would normally quote a news article and be all professional here but frickin Women's Wear Daily is charging to read the entire article. And that has pushed me off the deep end into delirium. So instead I present my completely made-up reimagining of the depositions cum both sides have agreed to settle their case in TV court case etc., as presided over by the Honorable Judge Judy. (And again, this is totally made up and done out of love. Love you Anthro xxoxoxoxxo and all that good stuff.)

Judge Judy: Alright, Anthropologie. You're suing Forever 21 for knocking off some of your clothing. Which I don't understand at all because it seems like you can go into any clothing store and find things with butterflies and flowers on it. Am I right?

Anthropologie: Er, well, no your honor, because our brand is all about organic creativity and seeking items that are out of the ordinary...

Judge Judy: Out of the ordinary? Are you telling me a scarf with medallions on it is out of the ordinary? I'll tell you what's out of the ordinary...charging $168 for it!

Forever 21: nodding silently.

Anthropologie: ...Your Honor, our clothing is made from high quality materials from around the world. Pima. Batik. Silk. Not rayon, not polyester.


Judge Judy: Petri, do you hear this? Silk, pima, modal...fancy stuff!

Petri: Mmhm.

Anthropologie: Also Your Honor, we specifically try to stock brands that few other stores carry. Our clothes are meant to be taken as a unique collective. We pay attention to everything, from the color thoughts of a season to the way the store is laid out. It's supposed to be a journey of sorts, a meandering walk, a...

Judge Judy: Stop. Stop talking. You mean to tell me that your stores are laid out like some kind of -- I don't know -- fairy tale wonderland? looks at Forever 21 And you want to copy these people?

Forever 21: We didn't copy, we just...

Judge Judy: Enough, I wasn't talking to you. Anthropologie, what is your evidence?

Anthropologie: In 2007 Forever 21 copied several of our dress designs. They moved a flower applique here, added an extra pleat there. But otherwise their designs are eerily similar to ours....

Forever 21: under breath Just $150 cheaper!

Anthropologie: ...and $150 less awesome! Plus our designs are not like something a Parsons dropout would fashion out of a garbage bag and twist ties.


Judge Judy: You two had better stop with the trash talk rightthissecondbeforeItossyoubothout! Anthropologie, I am looking at photo of your holey denim jeans and a pair for sale at Forever 21. Now you tell me how I am supposed to distinguish between your ripped jeans and theirs because frankly I am about to take a pair, chop it up with some garden shears and charge $200 for them myself.


Anthropologie: Certainly each pair of jeans is different. But look at these shirts for instance. Ours is on the left, you can tell by the je ne sais quoi. Sure the color is different, but they have the same ruched neckline, the same floral accent, the same loose flowy string accent that was thrown in as a last minute tribute to nostalgic youth...sniffy sniff.

Judge Judy: Alright, alright. Enough glassy eyes. Forever 21, what say you?

Forever 21: Your Honor, we can't help it if we're dangerously on-trend. Our designers are tragically hip; our production is treacherously fast and our shoppers are unapologetically seeking disposable cool. No one wants to spend $80 on a shirt they'll wear for one season.


Judge Judy: So...your defense is that being fast and cheap makes it OK? Alrighty.

Forever 21: Our defense is that fashion itself moves too fast to claim that anything is unique. What's now was also what's 20 years ago. What's out is back in. Nothing is really unique these days. I could buy the same tank top from 20 different stores!

Anthropologie: Your Honor...

Judge Judy: Quiet flutter butters. Now, Forever 21, a tank top is a tank top, but do you really mean to tell me that it's just a coincidence that they release a button down top with ruffles on the shoulder and then just a few weeks later you release a very similar version of your own?

Forever 21: But ours has ruffles that are bigger!

Anthropologie: Harrumph.


Judge Judy: Hoo-whee. You must think I'm an idiot. Is that what you think?

Forever 21: Uh...

Judge Judy: Because let me tell you that I am sick and tired of all these knockoff judges pretending to have my gumption, my no-nonsense attitude, my haircut! There is only one Judge Judy, do you understand that, Forever tweeny-one?

Forever 21: Yes, ma'am.

Judge Judy: Think they can put on a robe and just become another me. That'll learn them.

Anthropologie: Your Honor...

Judge Judy: Quiet earthy crunchology. I've had enough of your meandering mind. But I've had more than enough of Always 21's careless disregard. I'm ruling in favor of the plaintiff. Now get out of my courtroom before I throw you two into a decoupage cage match.