Banksy May Need to Reveal His Identity to Own His Art, and Other News

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Flower Thrower by Banksy. Photography by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images

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Banksy may need to reveal his identity to maintain trademark rights to two of his artworks. 

Besides being one of the art world’s best-kept secrets, Banksy’s anonymity has always been a key component to his success. That may soon change, however, after a recent ruling by the European Union Intellectual Property Office stripped the reclusive street artist of trademark rights to two of his artworks, citing his hidden identity as a key cause in the loss of copyright. He’s now lost rights to four works total, including Girl With Umbrella (2004) and Radar Rat (2008). It’s worth noting that in his 2006 book, Wall and Piece, Banksy said that copyright claims are “for losers” and that he encourages people to “copy, borrow, steal, and amend” his work, though he curiously still claims trademark rights. If he’d like to retain ownership of his works, he may be forced into revealing his identity once and for all.

Activists are protesting a giant, hyper-sexualized Marilyn Monroe statue in Palm Springs.

Despite widespread protests, a popular petition, and a small fire, Palm Springs has installed a super-sized statue of Marilyn Monroe with her white dress flying above her waist right next to the city’s art museum. The last four directors of the museum have publicly opposed the hyper-sexualized statue, as well as numerous activist groups including Crema (the Committee for the Relocation of Marilyn) and the Women’s March L.A. The city voted unanimously to place the statue there after its purchase by a city-funded tourism agency, which cited its expected boost in foot traffic. Crema is working diligently toward the sculpture’s relocation: “We’re going to see the legal thing through to the very end, even if that means appealing and appealing and appealing,” says the local fashion designer Trina Turk, who co-founded the organization with Chris Menrad. “I don’t think the protests will be over either.”

Jil Sander x Birkenstock. Photography by Talia Chetrit

Jil Sander creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier design a new line of Birkenstocks.

Birkenstocks’ star-studded list of collaborators continues to grow. After teaming up with the likes of Rick Owens, Faye Toogood, and Proenza Schouler, the German footwear brand has enlisted Jil Sander creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier to reimagine their Arizona, Milano, and Berlin profiles. The new collection overall feels earthy thanks to raw leather and suede straps. “Playing with the silhouette was probably the most exciting thing,” Luke, who also reshaped the hardware, tells Vogue. “It’s more in line with the way we do a lot of the hardware treatments on our garments in the mainline collections.” The Birkenstock x Jil Sander shoes will be available for purchase starting July 1.

WeWork’s business shows signs of recovery fueled by easing restrictions in key markets. 

The battered co-working company reported its strongest two months since September 2019, as it sees an improvement in leading indicators such as desk sales, churn rates, and occupancy. As of May, global occupancy has ticked up to 53 percent, while memberships have increased by 20,000—a 33 percent increase since March. WeWork also announced a joint venture with SoftBank Latin America Fund to expand its footprint in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. 

The new Leica smartphone

Softbank’s new Leica-branded smartphone features the biggest camera on the market.

As smartphone innovation continues to threaten the traditional camera, Japanese conglomerate Softbank has announced a new Leica-branded phone with the biggest camera on the market. The Leitz 1 is equipped with a 20-megapixel, one-inch sensor, and, in a nod to its origins, a small magnetic lens cap. While the German camera maker has lent its name for smartphone camera systems before, the launch marks the first time its identity has been imprinted on an entire phone—it also features a matte black and silver case with the brand’s inimitable red lego and a full takeover of the camera app’s interface. As of now, it will be available exclusively in Japan.    

LVMH assumes full ownership of Emilio Pucci as it attempts to reclaim its former glory.  

After holding a majority stake in Emilio Pucci since 2000, luxury behemoth LVMH has assumed full ownership by acquiring the 33 percent stake still owned by its founding family. The Italian brand, which is known for its bold and colorful prints, has been without a creative director since Massimo Giorgetti resigned in 2017. Recently, Pucci has experimented with unexpected collaborations like the one with cult streetwear label Supreme announced earlier this month. 

Today’s attractive distractions:

Here’s how cult bike company Peloton has become an unlikely global content machine.

Ikea’s latest campaign reinforces its efforts to buy back and upcycle discarded furniture.

This new map of each state’s most searched misspelled words is chock-full of surprises.

Genetically engineered bacteria are converting used plastic bottles into vanilla flavoring.

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