Uniqlo is suing Shein, a Chinese fast fashion retailer, for selling imitations of its round mini shoulder bag.
Fast Retailing, a public Japanese multinational retail holding company that owns Uniqlo and Theory, stated that the “imitation products” that Shein is selling looks like Uniqlo’s Round Mini Shoulder Bag which went viral on TikTok and other social media platforms for the last two years.
A versatile nylon moon-shaped shoulder bag, the bag became a global hit and has become a bestseller for Uniqlo.
The bag became so popular and widely copied which prompted Uniqlo to issue an official statement about counterfeiting on its website.
“We are currently investigating these products and, in cases where they are confirmed to be counterfeit or imitations produced with malicious intent, we will consider taking legal action against the companies manufacturing and selling them,” Uniqlo stated.
On December 28, Uniqlo filed a lawsuit against Shein and named three of the brand’s operators– Roadget Business Pte, Fashion Choice Pte and Shein Japan.
Furthermore, Uniqlo claims that Shein’s bag, the Solid Color Single Shoulder & Crossbody Dumpling & Crescent Moon Shaped Bag looks very similar to Uniqlo’s design. Depending on promotions, Shein’s bag retails for less than $8.
“The Company filed this complaint because it has determined that the form of the imitation products sold by Shein closely resembles that of its own product, and that the sale of the imitation products by Shein significantly undermines the high level of customer confidence in the quality of the Uniqlo brand and its products,” Fast Retailing said in a statement regarding the lawsuit.
In response to the situation, a spokesperson from Shein told Teen Vogue via email: “Shein respects the intellectual property rights of others and takes all claims of infringement seriously. We are currently investigating this matter.”
During the previous summer, H&M, the Swedish brand, lodged a copyright lawsuit against Shein in Hong Kong. Around the same time, Chrome Hearts, a brand known for its accessories and apparel, submitted a comparable complaint in September.