This is not the first time a brand has tried to pass Nirvana designs as their own.
It's no secret that the creative director of Balenciaga and head designer of Vetements, Demna Gvasakua is a fan of propitiating images from pop culture and elsewhere. His SS'18 collection for Vetements featured an entire look inspired by DHL. As for SS'19, Gvasalia brought comic sans and clip art to the runway. For Balenciaga, he designed a kitschy New York tourist tote, an Ikea "copy" and only recently, leather keyrings inspired by Little Trees air fresheners.
Gvasalia is also no stranger when it comes to facing controversy over his design, having faced lawsuits for some of the aforementioned pieces. However, this time it's not the law he has to battle, instead: it's Courtney Love.
Amongst slogan turtle necks, blanket skirts and balaclavas, Vetements' punk-laden AW'19 collection features a (pretty undeniable) iteration of a shirt Kurt Cobain wore to take a jab at the music industry in a 1992 Rolling Stone cover shoot that reads, in all caps, “corporate magazines still suck”.
Although the Vetements design does add a phrase on the end – “a lot!” with an anarchic A, that hasn't stopped the backlash. On May 18, the brand posted a runway shot showcasing the t-shirt to which Courtney Love expressed her disappointment underneath.
As far as lawsuits are concerned, it's not entirely clear whether this would be a potential infringement case for Love given her rocky past regarding her share of Cobain's legacy.