Luke Song, Designer of Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat, Goes After Thieves

Remember those halcyon days of early 2009, before Tea Parties, uncontrollable oil spills, and when Arizona was just the home of one political loser? How young we were, filled with optimism and joy. And the only thing on our collective minds was the hat Luke Song made for Aretha Franklin to wear at President Obama‘s inauguration. So talked about, the Smithsonian was after it and the hat became a short lived meme — hence the photo over there to the right. But now, just a year and a half later, woe unto us that even that story has been sullied. The Smoking Gun reports that late last week, Song filed a complaint claiming said hat’s design has been copied and sold both through companies he’d worked with in the past and stolen by competitors. The site has the complete court filing available and it’s well worth the read, seeing the chronology of how business relationships unraveled and knock-offs started appearing. It’s a sad story, but definitely a valuable lesson for anyone designing hats for famous singers who are attending high profile events every four years (which we figure has to be about 80% of our readership, right?).

Publish date: May 12, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT