Happy end of summer and 2 months to ski season everyone!!!
Last night I had a nice chicken dinner, some wine, a little night time fun… so naturally today, I woke up in a glorious mood! Until I went on Instagram and saw that our classic original designs are being imitated by a larger, significantly more established, lifestyle brand – Ski The East.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Ski The East is huge. You’ve probably seen their movies, license plate covers, or some of their (original) designs… Born From Ice is their mantra and they’ve brought a ton of much deserved attention to East Coast skiing. I used to think these guys were a great brand.
Now, a few weeks ago they came out with a (new) design that was a rear entry boot. Rear entry boots have been around as long as most of us have been skiing, nothing new. Cool, we already had one and it’s been a best seller… Did they rip us off? Who can say. Putting a pair of boots on a tshirt is like putting jelly on a peanut butter sandwich.
Then a few days ago, they came out with a chairlift design. Fine, we already had one (it’s going to be the next LS performance shirt and currently on the background of our website)…. anyhow, I thought our design was still better but I started thinking… are they following me??
Then today, as I started flipping through Instagram, I saw they just came out with another tshirt that had one of the original wicket / day passes on it and I lost my shit. I literally wore that shirt yesterday! It’s laying on my floor right now. This was one of our originals from 5 years ago and decided I was taking it out of the archive to put on a zip up hoodie this season!!
3 designs in 6 weeks is not a coincidence. Either I am being stalked or these guys came upon the Holy Grail, which would be our original catalog when we started things up 5 years ago.
Now, Ski The East is big. Till I Die is small. They have 51K followers on IG… we have 1,660. They have an awful lot of things we do not and from a legal perspective, there isn’t much that can be done. What I can do is write this blog and post it on social media.
Now, these guys got their start making ski movies but now they are a fashion brand. And in fashion there is very little intellectual property protection. So Ski The East can copy any design or any garment and sell is as their own as long as they don’t copy the actual trademark label, in this case our Shield.
Now, Id rip off some of their designs to return the favor but I couldn’t find one I actually liked.
Anyhow, the idiom goes that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Well Ski The East, consider us flattered.
And in case you want to get a head start… our next design is going to have all 3 dragons from Game of Thrones eating all the McDonalds characters while skiing the face of Tuckerman Ravine while breathing fire. Next best seller.
Till I Die says thanks, lets party.