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Impossible to buy Fear Of God Essentials in Europe

Impossible to buy Fear Of God Essentials in Europe
  • 10 March 2023
  • Posted By : Hatim

Who is Fear Of God and what happened in European market

Fear of God is the well know American company by Jerry Lorenzo that launched a sub-brand called "Fear of God Essentials" in 2018. The brand's products are sold worldwide and can be found at select retailers such as SSENSE, Mr Porter UK and US or END UK and US. In addition to its online store, FOG also produces seasonal capsule collections with the help of co-designers such as Kanye West and Takashi Murakami.
In Europe, we have Kadine BV which owns the fashion brand 'Essentiel Antwerp', which has been active since 2011. Kadine BV brought a cease-and-desist action against FOG before the EU Trademark Court in Brussels for copyright infringement of their brand name 'Essential' due to similarities between both marks' shapes, colors and fonts used on packaging labels.

Why Fear Of God Essentials can't sell its products in Europe

The EU Trademark Court in Brussels found that FOG's distributor was selling goods with the "FOG" mark without permission, and ordered them to stop immediately. The court dismissed claims against FOG for lack of evidence. Following this decision, FOG launched a new collection of 'Essentials' clothing, but the court found that FOG's use of this sign was likely to cause confusion with Kadine's earlier trademark for 'F**K OFF GIRL', and ordered FOG to stop using the "ESSENTIALS" trademark for clothing items sold online. FOG appealed but the court upheld the injunction. FOG made some adjustments on its website but the court found them insufficient. A recent case clarified that a mere offer to sell goods on an online platform does not constitute infringement. Kadine produced correspondence showing that FOG controlled the sale of 'Essentials' clothing in the Benelux and EU. 
As a result, FOG has been prohibited from selling its products in Europe, which has had a major impact on the brand. 
After that, during a short period customers in Europe were able to purchase from resellers such as StockX and US official retailers like (PacSun or SSENSE...) but now you only have the US retailers, when trying to checkout on StockX you will be stopped.

Edit : UK retailers such as Mr PorterEND and Selfridges are selling FOG Essentials items but they won't ship to European customers.
Edit from 30/11/2023 : Mr Porter is selling worldwide, here some links by countries/regions : FranceGermanyNetherlandsSpainItalyBelgiumAPAC region.

Now you know why you can't find this so famous US brand in Europe.

Source: First instance decision here, appeal decision here (in Dutch).