April Walker’s legendary streetwear brand Walker Wear has recently filed a lawsuit against Virgil Abloh’s Off-White. Back in February, April posted a screenshot on Instagram of one of Off-White’s jackets that was being sold on saksfifthavenue.com. At a quick glance, it seems like just another letterman bomber jacket, but April says the stylized W’s are a clear jack from one of Walker Wear’s signature designs.
Walker is one of streetwear’s first female founders and Walker Wear was extremely prominent in the ‘90s, worn on hip-hop’s hottest stars such as Tupac, Biggie, LL Cool J, Aaliyah and many more. With Walker Wear being an authority for more than 30 years, the brand stated that a streetwear connoisseur like Abloh himself has certainly been aware of the brand’s presence and their logo. “Given Ms. Walker’s iconic status in the streetwear fashion industry and Abloh’s knowledge of the industry, Off-White was almost certainly aware of the mark prior to designing, producing, and selling the infringing jacket,” said Walker Wear in an interview with The Fashion Law.
It’s also important to note that Abloh has stated several times that his design philosophy includes him changing others’ designs by only 3% to claim it as a totally new design. Walker Wear has allegedly been using the oversized “WW” logo since 1993 and the brand is determined to not let Abloh swipe their intellectual property.
In June of this year, Walker Wear allegedly sent a cease and desist letter to Off-White for them to stop selling any garments with the stylized “WW” logo. Saks and Farfetch also allegedly received the cease and desist letter as the retailers of the bomber jacket. It was reported on July 6, 2021, that Off-White and Saks refused to cease their infringing activities with Walker Wear’s trademark.
ESSENCE reached out to Walker for a comment and is awaiting response.