Luxury brand Hermès is suing an artist over the sale of an NFT Birkin bag after the artist sold a $42,000 digital rendition of the high-fashion accessory in December.
Hermès filed a lawsuit against Mason Rothschild
According to a report on January 21, Hermès filed a lawsuit against Mason Rothschild in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Rothschild “simply deprived Hermès of the famed Birkin brand” with its “MetaBirkins” non-fungible token (NFT).
The designer called Rothschild “a digital speculator who is seeking to get rich quick,” and accused him of “willful and egregious infringement.”
But Rothschild insists the work is protected by the First Amendment, comparing his NFTs to Andy Warhol’s pop art paintings of Campbell’s soup cans.
Rothschild has been sharing images of his imaginary Birkin artwork on Instagram since November 2021.
The pieces feature digital renderings of Birkin bags that do not exist in real life. While each takes the form of an iconic Hermès purse, none have a design that actually exists.
A “MetaBirkin” launched in December is made of green fluff and wears a Santa hat that looks like a Grinch.
Several others show fur in multicoloured patterns, while he also made one that appeared to be covered in goosebumps and another glued to it.
The Fashion Law reported that he sold the NFT for $23,000 in May and resold it in December for 10 Ethereum, or $42,000.
Actual Birkin bags cost thousands of dollars each, with rare versions costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.