NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club files a federal suit against a local retailer. Zulu says Soul Train Fashions is selling their trademarked logo jackets and hats without permission. The store owner says it's a misunderstanding.
"We wouldn't want anyone to take advantage of the name Zulu has built over the years," said Zulu President Naaman Stewart.
Danatus King is the club's attorney.
"We are seeking to stop the infringement and illegal use of the Zulu name and trademark and images by those using it for their own personal gain," King said.
King filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Soul Train Fashions. He says the store on Chef Menteur Highway is selling and advertising the logo jackets. Soul Train Fashions doesn't deny that they have the Zulu jackets, and the manager claims they had an agreement with Zulu to sell the jackets several years ago.
"A member of Zulu came to me and approached me asking if we could make the Zulu blazers for them," said manager Monroe Fleming.
He said at first the signature jackets were just gold five years ago.
"Later on we sold out of the regular ones. I had a lot of Zulu coming to me asking do you have blazers, do you have blazers? Since I'm dyeing them and selling it, I'll make the patch," Fleming said.
Bobby Mirchandani owns Soul Train Fashions.
"Those jackets were plain," he said. "They'd bring the patch in for us to sew it and one officer suggested make it with this," Mirchandani said.
There is a wall full of them in the store. Zulu sent out a cease and desist order in February, also asking for a percentage of sales.
"If you want to do business with Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club you should come to the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club," Stewart said.
He said he wanted to work out an agreement with the business instead of Soul Train Fashions doing it on their own.
"I'm willing to sit down and make arrangements that are mutually acceptable," Mirchandani said. "We'll be glad to keep selling and pay a certain percentage they need."
Mirchandani said he did respond to a letter Zulu Sent in February but he says the club never got back to him.