Recently, a blogger friend of mine, and hands down the most helpful woman in the world of fashion blogging, had the name of her website stolen by another fashion site. Jennine Jacobs has been blogging at The-Coveted.com since 2007. After finding a serious lack of resources for fashion bloggers, she founded Independent Fashion Bloggers.
Independent Fashion Bloggers is one of the main reasons The Greyest Ghost is as successful as it is today. From meeting other bloggers, to html tips, to discovering how exactly to pitch a PR firm or request an invitation for New York Fashion Week—- I learned it all from helpful members of Jennine’s community.
Last week, new fashion site The Coveted launched, profiling the homes and closest of many of fashion’s elite. After seeing a profile of a vintage store, featuring the site’s founder Erin Kleinberg on Racked.com, I became confused. Who was this woman taking credit for my friend’s site? And why were the writers at Racked pretending The Coveted was a new “much anticipated” site? Many in the fashion blogging world had the same reaction. After the new site’s launch, post after post popped up questioning the trademark issues related to the new coveted, and wondering who was behind it. Was it Jennine? Or someone else? Many of us also questioned the speed at which word spread about the new site. Who exactly was running the PR machine behind it? And why was it suddenly everywhere?
Even if I didn’t know Jennine personally, I’d be outraged by what this means to me, as a fellow blogger. To see someone so amazing and helpful watch her years of hard work capitalized on by another site is disturbing, and I feel sick to my stomach watching the injustice of this situation carry out. What could have been resolved peacefully is now an all out legal conflict. The fact that the creators behind The Coveted 2.0 (what I personally like to refer to the site as) think they can get away with stealing Jennine’s site’s name, and then trying to threaten her into being silent about it absolutely enrages me. It’s the fashion industry’s version of schoolyard bullying. The scariest thing of all is, this could happen to any one of us. Someone with more money and press connections could come along and try to steal your name. No one wants to see years of their work tainted by someone new trying to capitalize on their good name. And in this case, the fact that the new coveted has tainted Jennine’s original site is glaringly obvious.
As someone who’s had their own work stolen and copyright violated before, there is no way I could stand by silently and watch The Coveted try to silence the original The-Coveted. I’ve started a petition to sign in support of Jennine and her site, The-Coveted, along with Poochie from Shoe Daydreams.
The new site’s lawyers don’t believe there is any way readers could be confused by the two Coveteds. If you were indeed confused by the appearance of new fashion site TheCoveted, please sign this petition in support of Jennine and the original The-Coveted
UPDATE: You can now donate to help cover Jennine’s legal fees here.
UPDATE #2: February 1st- Word is, both parties have come to an amicable resolution.
For more information on the controversy, see the following articles:
Jennine Jacob’s Own Take on The Coveted Trademark Infringement
(With an update re: The Coveted’s lawyers threatening to sue)