The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, well-known for tattoos, a violent, aggressive attitude and thundering Harley-Davidsons, is picking a fight with a small, British luxury fashion house, according to news reports.
In a complaint filed in federal court in California, the leather-clad gang has sued the Alexander McQueen fashion company, owned by France’s PPR luxury group, for allegedly misusing its winged skull logo and has demanded the couture line stop producing items like the “Hells Angels silk scarf” ($475), the “Hells Four-finger Ring” ($495) and the “Hells knuckle duster” clutch purse (selling online for just over $1,800).
The biking club is also directing its grievance at retailers Saks and Zappos.com, who sell Alexander McQueen merchandise.
“This isn’t just about money, it’s about membership,” Hells Angels lawyer Fritz Clapp, a Los Angeles-based biker who sports a red Mohawk, told the New York Post. “If you’ve got one of these rings on, a member might get really upset that you’re an imposter.”
Founded in California, the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club has been around since 1948 and the gang is fiercely protective of its trademarked logo and name.
The organization’s Web site notes that the “Hells Angels and the skull logo are trademarks owned by Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation, registered in the USA and in many other countries.” The group reportedly is concerned that the Alexander McQueen Hells Angels collection will cause damage to the long-established Hells Angels brand.