The story may make you smile, but it is also a cause for concern. At the official launch of its new smartphone with a pierced display, the Galaxy A8s, in China, Samsung announced a partnership with Supreme, the famous American clothing brand. The problem, it wasn't the "real" Supreme but an Italian clone called Supreme Italia.
The number one brand in smartphones wanted to impress when launching its new device. Samsung looked like it had jumped into fashion by announcing a collaboration with Supreme for China. The managers of Samsung's Chinese subsidiary, as well as those of Supreme, were even on stage to talk about their partnership and announce the opening of a seven-story department store in Beijing in 2019. But there is a catch. Things are not as beautiful as you might think.
Indeed, the Supreme brand was not at all aware of such an agreement between the two companies. It was not the real streetwear brand but a clone called Supreme Italia. Through loopholes in trademark law, the Italian company has managed to register the trademark in its country and obtained authorization to sell counterfeits while using the same logo in Italy and also in Spain. Since the American brand Supreme did not register its brand in Italy, this company has done a great job of exploiting this mistake.
Samsung was aware of this all along
However, the story does not end here. Samsung was well aware of this Supreme brand confusion, and Leo Lau, Samsung's digital marketing manager in China, explained on China's Weibo social network that the partnership was signed with full knowledge of the facts. As a result, Samsung was fully aware that it had entered into a collaboration with Supreme Italia, not Supreme USA. There was no duping going on here.
Supreme USA, for its part, reacted quickly, explaining that it had not been contacted by Samsung. The brand recalled that: "Supreme is not working with Samsung, and is not planning to launch a store in Beijing. These claims are false and spread by a counterfeiting company:" The funny part is that the American brand is not even allowed to sell on Chinese territory!
In any case, this collaboration will, therefore, be well established in China. However, the products resulting from this partnership are likely to be available only on Chinese soil.
How do you like Samsung's attitude? Did they need to do this?