By Wallace Baine
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Photo: Dan Coyro
By WALLACE BAINE
In February, designer Jeremy Scott sparked a Santa Cruz firestorm when he showed several items of apparel at New York Fashion Week that were, NHS said, close to identical to the artwork of father/son Santa Cruz artists Jim and Jimbo Phillips and copyrights owned and represented by the Phillipses and NHS.
As part of the agreement, Scott admitted his mistake, and announced that the shirts, handbags and other apparel that were to be part of his fall/winter line would be not be manufactured or distributed. The garments shown at the show were destroyed with an NHS witness on hand to record it.
“We are satisfied with the outcome,” said Bob Denike, the CEO and president of NHS/Santa Cruz Skateboards. “We don’t like to do this kind of stuff, and in fact, we waited a while to see if he would contact us on his own. When he did not, we decided to take action.”
Citing confidentiality agreements, Denike would not comment on a possible financial settlement between the two parties.
Scott’s clothing designs have been worn by some of the entertainment industry elite such as Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. But he also has a reputation for appropriating symbols and iconography created by others, from Coca Cola to “The Simpsons.” In many cases, he has legally licensed the imagery. That was not the case in the Phillips dispute.
Jim Phillips is one of the most well-known and successful graphic artists to ever come out of Santa Cruz. He’s credited with the design of the famous “red dot” Santa Cruz Skateboards logo, as well as the famous screaming blue hand logo. Jimbo Phillips has built an impressive career of his own, illustrating posters, clothing and skateboard decks with his often lurid and exaggerated cartoon designs.