I used to work outside of Hollister, California. The town’s name is famous worldwide due to its appropriation by apparel company Abercrombie & Fitch as a surf brand.
When I was just beginning to develop my own youth brand Post-Mod ® five years ago, I happened to discover online accounts of A&F threatening trademark infringement against a local company for silkscreening “Hollister” on a tee shirt.
I thought that it would be cool to do a photoshoot of a male model wearing our Post-Mod ® shirts with a surfboard in front of California Highway Department signs with the name “Hollister” and see if posted pix would elicit threatening letters from Abercrombie and Fitch.
I never followed through. Today I was reminded of that unrealized photoshoot by an article in the New Yorker by Dave Eggers called The Actual Hollister, where he recalled the Abercrombie and Fitch connection.
So, I decided to search through my photo archives and post a few photos I had taken five years ago of the highway signs with the Hollister name. I also post below a list of taglines I had come up with to accompany the pictures.
Holllister highway sign: Trademark infringement A&F?
Dude, surf’s up in Hollister…NOT.
Put down your f—ing board and wack the weeds.
Hollister Surf Alert: 7 foot weeds south of town
Dude, you get an “F” in California geography:
Garlic = Gilroy; Hay = Hollister; Surf = Santa Cruz 1 hour away.
“NoCal” Hollister Tag Lines
NoCal – the home of pseudo surf apparel companies
The real Hollister was founded by a sheepherder.
Hollister Co. – NoCal surf apparel
Hollister Trademark Controversy
Signs around town: H*ll*st*r
What happens when a city fears being sued for trademark infringement.
Sign on a team uniform: H*ll*st*r
What happens when a city fears being sued for trademark infringement
Notice to Legal Dept: This is a State of California sign. Try and sue them for trademark infringement.
Fight the Power, California. Your lifestyle cannot be trademarked.