Chris Lavish
Chris Lavish
Never Under The Influence. Always Influencing.© Monsieur Lavish resides in downtown Manhattan, blogging vegan food, street style, and designing clothes for personal use.

The “Make Money Not Friends” Jacket Made More Money Than Friends Internationally

Fifty Karats’ “Make Money Not Friends” slogan has been copied by Milan-based fashion brand Make Money Not Friends, according to CEO and fashion designer Udo Ihem. Udo first began producing products with the “Make Money Not Friends” slogan in 2015 with the release of the black nylon bomber jacket.

The bomber jacket would go on to become one of the brand’s best-selling pieces. It continued to gain fame with street style star and Fifty Karats global digital director Chris Lavish being photographed in it at international fashion weeks.

Fifty Karats

Regarding the rip-off of his designs, Udo said, “2013 was when I created Fifty Karats, an expression of mine to the world. It was on October 11th, 2015, when I had one of my first breakthroughs by releasing my ‘Make Money Not Friends’ bomber jacket via Instagram. I still remember that feeling in my gut knowing that my products were going to reach beyond my dreams and exceed my expectations.

“Never throughout this journey would I have expected that another brand across the world would replicate my exact concept and make it theirs.”

I never expected another brand across the world would replicate my exact concept

It was dumbfounding receiving several messages and evidence from people that there is a company based in Milano, Italy that is making a profit off of my original design.”

Ihem initially created Fifty Karats as his response to his dwelling frustrations with the fashion cycle. He decided to take matters into his own hands and create his own brand then partnering up with Lavish to bring it into the Fashion Week scene. He states, “My current goal for the brand is to work with more individual focused materials that will be featured in his upcoming 2020 collection.”

Ihem first noticed the copying of his designs as early as February of 2016, and then he noticed companies selling products with his “Make Money Not Friends Slogan” on Amazon. He began to screenshot counterfeit brands as it became a constant issue. Later on Ihem states, “I also noticed that it was on other websites such as FashionNova and ”

“This is the issue with fashion vulture companies worldwide working to exile self-made brands by portraying themselves as the originators. Despite adversities, my experiences have taught me what it means to persevere and stay true to my brand. My ability to overcome obstacles and continue to do what’s genuine will always remind me to do what’s most naturally aligned with my brand,” Udo said.

This is the issue with fashion vulture companies worldwide

Currently, Fifty Karats has not taken action against Make Money Not Friends. Fifty Karats’ attempt at securing a trademark for the “Make Money Not Friends” slogan was ultimately denied in the US.

About Fifty Karats

Fifty Karats was founded in 2013 by Udo Ihem. The brand’s primary slogan is “Make Money Not Friend” The Miami-based streetwear brand that made an impact on the street-style scene of New York with Lavish and has developed an international following from France to South Korea. The brand is of the belief that true luxury equals autonomy.


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