By Jennifer Brice
DENVER (CBS4)– A fashion battle may be brewing between a well-known Colorado company and an international brand name. It’s Rockmount Ranch Wear vs. Coach.
The issue according to Rockmount Ranch Wear’s President, Steve Weil, is a shirt that his company calls the “Atomic Cowboy.” It retails for $100. Weil says the Atomic Cowboy is one of their most successful selling shirts, even offering it in children’s sizes, and they have been making it for several years.
Weil says a customer reached out to tell him saying Coach was making a similar looking shirt. CBS4 found that shirt on Coach’s website. It’s called the Western Yoke Blouse, currently sold out and selling for $495.
“I looked at it and I was ticked off,” says Weil. “If they are going to let us be their design function maybe they should pay us for it!”
Weil says his company holds specialized trademarks, even known for the tabs on their shirt cuffs. They are a Colorado ranch wear staple of 71 years located in downtown Denver.
Weil is now taking his concerns of a counterfeit design to the consumers directly by asking, “Do the shirts look similar?”
He points to it and says, “The other brand is a western shirt, two toned with rockets going the same way and with pockets like ours except theirs are fake.”
CBS4 reached out to Coach with Weil’s concerns. The Global Head of Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, Andrea Shaw Resnick, responded via email stating: “This was the first I’d heard of this, and we apparently have no record of Mr. Weil contacting Coach. Should he have concerns, I welcome him to contact me directly via email.”
Weil says he previously called Coach’s corporate office in New York, even wrote a letter but still has no response. He believes “prior use” applies to his Atomic Cowboy shirt.
“You could copyright them (a short) and have the right by prior use,” he adds.
Weil says he will now consider the next steps, legally, but he just wants to design good shirts unique to the Rockmount brand, “I would love for them (Coach) to pay for us being their inspiration!”
In a follow up email, CBS4’s Jennifer Brice asked Resnick if she noticed a similar look between the Rockmount and Coach shirts. She responded by saying, “I cannot comment further, but again, invite Mr. Weil to reach out directly.”