Search icon


29th Dec 2018

Nirvana are suing Marc Jacobs for allegedly lifting their smiley face design

Dave Hanratty

Nirvana Marc Jacobs smiley face design lawsuit

A new lawsuit contends that the clothing brand has ripped off their iconic logo.

Lawsuits in the entertainment world have lost none of their charm as we go into 2019, as Nirvana close out the year with a fresh legal writ.

The beloved grunge outfit alleges that clothing brand Marc Jacobs lifted the band’s famous squiggly yellow smiley face for use in its Bootleg Redux Grunge collection of t-shirts, socks and jumpers.

A product description for the t-shirt reads:

“This exclusive piece from the 1993 Grunge collection was created by Marc Jacobs during his time at Perry Ellis. This bootleg smiley tee sure smells like teen spirit.”

Nice eyebrow-raising second sentence, there.

As for the “exclusive piece” in question?

Nirvana Marc Jacobs

Yep, everything seems above board here.

As you can see above, the classic Nirvana ‘x’s for eyes’ situation has been strategically altered with an ‘M’ and a ‘J’ and yet that doesn’t seem to have quite done the trick.

Per TMZ, the official lawsuit contests that the Washington group has owned the trademark to their own quite similar-looking design since 1992.

Nirvana Marc Jacobs 2

Images via Marc Jacobs

The legal documentation presents Nirvana as one of the key founders of the grunge music scene, so the whole collection is being called into question, essentially.

No court date has been set and we’re going to take the high road here and not crowbar in a Nirvana song title pun to finish.

What? I said we wouldn’t do that.

Hey, do you think that if you order one of those t-shirts, it arrives in a heart-shaped bo-

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge