Hermès have clapped back to Mason Rothschild and are suing the artist, after he posted an open letter to the luxury brand in response to their cease and desist over his MetaBirkins. Still with us?
A few months back, Mason made a fuzzy set of NFT artworks which immortalised fashion’s most coveted handbag, the Hermès’ Birkin. As much as the fashion community appreciated it, Hermès apparently didn’t. The luxury brand sent a cease and desist letter to Mason Rothschild, the artist behind the MetaBirkins NFTs, according to The Fashion Law.
Mason made the first NFT bag in collaboration with artist Eric Ramirez and the bag sold for US$47,000 on its release. After this success, he went on to create the MetaBirkins series, which consisted of 100 Birkin-inspired NFT bags, all in different colours, textures and each entirely unique.
However, despite their popularity, Hermès was not happy. Mason took to social media to reveal that the luxury house filed a cease and desist letter against him and the MetaBirkins project and even published an open letter in response to it which called out the brand for repressing artists and failing to adapt to the times. While all went quiet for a bit, Hermès came back with intent to sue.
In the midst of this, we asked our community on TikTok to weigh in on the ongoing drama. Reactions were mixed: whilst some supported Mason for challenging Hermès on behalf of smaller brands and artists, others sided with the brand, calling out the artist for profiting off of Hermès’ design, craftsmanship and reputation.
While @fineheaven pointed out the extortionate cost of virtual goods as a whole, commenting that people “are spending 47k for a bag that’s not even real”, others highlighted the fact that in selling the MetaBirkin, Mason was actually cashing in on decades worth of cultural capital, reputation, and marketing. “It should be noted that the reason this NFT is selling is because Hermès did all the work to make the birkin an icon. Not the other way around” said @d_ascencio. Similarly, @puercorde.official commented that “Hermès spent years perfecting the Birkin via hard working artisans creating the Birkin by hand. I too will send a cease and desist”.
Support for Mason was less frequent, with only a handful of our TikTok community saying they were “obsessed” with the NFTs and championing “team Mason”. It seems, as Hermès have gone full guns blazing and begun the process of suing the American artist, opinions will remain divided.
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See also: KEEP YOUR CEASE & DESIST – SHOULD BIG BRANDS LEAVE ARTISTS ALONE?
See also: A TRIBUTE TO THE LATE LEGENDARY DESIGNER, THIERRY MUGLER