Culture

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Brian Lichtenberg PR Nightmare

Culture

Curiouser and Curiouser: The Brian Lichtenberg PR Nightmare

Fashion, plagiarism, giant legal battles, immaturity... this story has it all. "Homiès" tee via BrianLichtenberg.com
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Gather ’round the campfire screensavers on your Macbooks, children, and prepare yourselves for a harrowing tale of wanton unprofessionalism, and more than just a slight dose of irony. Earlier this week, we broke the story that LA’s Brian Lichtenberg, producer of the universally maligned prescription pill t-shirts, had lifted the idea from teen novelist Alex Kazemi, who had discussed a similar concept with him in 2012 right down to the “XANAX” and “ADDERALL”.

Sure, it wasn’t a puff piece, but the evidence (e-mails between Kazemi and Lichtenberg himself) did most of the talking, and left the reader to draw his or her own conclusion. Or not. Some people might even side with the plenty popular designer; Lindsay Lohan likes him. Whatever, right? The “whatever” stopped with Lichtenberg, whose team waged an intimidation campaign via multiple cease and desist letters, including one to us. But this is where things get even weirder.

The amount of bad press that the shirts garnered for “glorifying drug use” (unrelated to us) apparently caught the attention of the companies that make the scripts, which are considering legal action against Kitson and/or Lichtenberg for selling Lichtenberg’s shirts. And as if all this wasn’t enough, Lichtenberg’s sales chief Reda Bouaissa, apparently still sore about our story, has spent the past 2 days harassing 23-year-old freelance writer Rebecca Byers for RT’ing it. And he’s clearly not ashamed of it, because at least at the time of publishing, none of it has been deleted.

Bouaissa, twitter alias @rougemoi, first began tweeting at @becbyers 2 days ago, threatening to sue her for RT’ing “lol” and a link to our article.

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24 hours later, he was still tweeting her, with his own version of her previous joke (we think she looks cute)…

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To recap: why is an adult man aggressively shit-talking a stranger in their early ’20s because of a retweet? Why are multiple members of the fashion press receiving cease and desist letters for standard reporting? What will happen next? We haven’t known much of Lichtenberg up until recently, but we would highly recommend he try and channel some of his legal budget into PR services (or non-derivative design), and we even agree with him that getting mad at t-shirts for anyone’s drug problem is a joke/hope that he and Kitson avoid a scrape with big pharma.

Come on, Brian. Can’t we just be Homiès?