Fashion designer Marc Jacobs is firing back at the lawsuit accusing him of stealing the idea for a “grunge” collection from Nirvana by saying he invented the style and tearing into Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain in the process.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Jacobs is defending himself by giving a little fashion history and claiming he introduced the world to grunge in 1993.
The docs state, “The collection was considered groundbreaking in the fashion world, because it brought together high fashion and streetwear on the runway in a way that had never been done before. The debut of the SS93 Grunge Collection is now considered to be one of the most influential runway fashion shows of the 1990s.”
He said at the time that Kurt Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, had a huge influence on the line. However, she trashed the collection in the press.
Jacobs says that “in 1994 Marc Jacobs met Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain (then two years old), the daughter of Ms. Love and the then-late Mr. Cobain, beginning a personal and professional relationship with both women that endures to this day.”
He says over the years, Love has appeared in his advertising campaigns, regularly attends his runway shows and is dressed by his brand for special events.
Jacobs claims since his original “grunge” collection, he has referenced the style in many collections. He says the smiley face in his work is his work and not Nirvana’s. He says to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his original “grunge” line, he re-released 26 looks and sold a limited supply to certain stores.
The collection “included a one-time production run of a limited-quantity capsule consisting of the three new products that are the subject of this lawsuit: a t-shirt, sweatshirt and pair of socks with a smiley face that had the letters MJ as eyes and the word ‘HEAVEN’ above it … The design was inspired by vintage Nirvana concert t-shirts from the 1990s – the era of ‘grunge’ fashion.”
Jacobs says both Love and Bean praised the line when it was released: “Each woman was gifted designs from the collection. Ms. Love was invited to perform at the launch event for the collection in Los Angeles. Both Ms. Love and Ms. Cobain ‘liked’ and commented on the images of the collection that Mr. Jacobs posted on his Instagram feed, including, notably, images of Mr. Jacobs in the t-shirt that is one of the Accused Products. Ms. Love commented on one of the images of Mr. Jacobs in that shirt, saying, ‘Nice photo! Looks some [sic] what familiar! Amazing!'”
Jacobs denies stealing anything and is demanding the entire lawsuit be thrown out.
Last year, Nirvana L.L.C. sued Marc Jacobs clothing brand accusing the famed designer of ripping off their iconic Nirvana image of a smiley face, which they claim to have trademarked.
The docs note that Love is a member of a company that owns Nirvana L.L.C., the company suing Jacobs.
The suit took issue with a newly announced collection by Marc Jacobs named “Bootleg Redux Grunge,” which featured a similar looking smiley face on socks, shirts and sweaters.
Nirvana accused them of ripping off their iconic image and pointed out the band was one of the founders of the “grunge” movement.
They sued seeking unspecified damages.