November 04, 2011

Forever 21 continues "Navajo" products

Forever 21 Didn’t Get The Navajo Memo

By Jenna Sauers[F]ellow mass-market retailer Forever 21 doesn't seem to share Urban Outfitters' concern. While a search for "Navajo" on its website turns up no results, a little digging reveals at least a half-dozen items that have the Navajo trademark in the title. That includes the "Navajo & Lace Hipster"—that's right, not one but two international chains sold "Navajo" underwear for fall—the "Navajo Tunic" and the "Navajo Handbag" in the U.S. online store. (The tunic, along with a pair of "Navajo Drop Earrings," is currently out of stock, but you can see a Google cached page for now.)And:Although two of these items—the panties and the handbag—have product descriptions that call them "Navajo-inspired," they all have "Navajo" and not "Navajo-Inspired" in their names, and the rest of the descriptions use yet more specific language that arguably misuses the Navajo Nation's trademark. The necklace is said to be "Navajo beaded," and the tunic and the socks are said to have a "Navajo print." You'd obviously have to be fairly naïve—and unfamiliar with the retailer's reliance on California and foreign sweatshop labor—to believe that anything sold at Forever 21 was in fact made by Navajo people. And you'd have to be similarly naïve—and unfamiliar with the company's apparent distaste for paying licensing fees—to believe any of these "Navajo" products were authorized by the Navajo Nation under license to Forever 21. But the language used in the company's online catalogue is, at the very least, misleading. You can't call something "Navajo" when it's, well, just not. It's a trademark. And for Forever 21, that's a problem.Comment:  For more on the subject, see Forever 21's Stereotypical Necklaces and Forever 21's Columbus Day Sale.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Navajo-inspired panties. LOL

Because the perverts want your panties to smell like the finest wool...Wait, that didn't come out right. (I'm trying to go for a "panty-sniffing" joke with a reference to an iconic Navajo industry, but not make a zoophilia joke.) Anyone want to try to help me out here?