1880 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Suite 650, Houston, TX 77077

Czar Clothing Defeats Goliath to Help Others Build Empires

Nick Zellem is the brains behind the successful athleisure label Czar Clothing, which he launched in 2004. Nick’s eastern European and Russian ancestry had a profound impact on his upbringing in the Northeast and Midwest of the United States. He eventually settled in Texas, where he attended Baylor University and earned a degree in business with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. Nick had the idea for Czar Clothing more than ten years ago, but he didn’t launch the business until 2016. He is currently located in Dallas, Texas.

Courtesy of Silvia Maria Messina

The Idea behind Czar

The founder’s family history in Eastern Europe was the original inspiration for Czar Clothing. The company’s mission is to popularize the idea of creating one’s own personal empire by providing fashionable apparel that acts as an emotional inspiration and drive to achieve success in any field.

Czar Clothing is dedicated to helping its customers feel confident and at ease in their own skin by delivering quality “Athleisure”  apparel at affordable prices. The company operates under the principle that everyone is creating their own life, domain, and empire. You are the Czar or Czarina of your own empire regardless of your profession, race, creed, or religion.. Czar Clothing encourages everyone to “BUILD YOUR EMPIRE” which is reflected in its branding.

Courtesy of Giuseppe Sciortino

Czar’s Fight for Trademark

Determination and persistence to acquire the trademark for Czar Clothing was a Davey and Goliath story that endured for about 7 years. Since an “NBA Celebrity” already owned a trademark that was conceptually similar to Czar Clothing, the US trademark office denied Czar’s application. The “NBA Celebrity” not only showed no interest in starting a clothing line but also made no effort to prove that he should be allowed to keep the trademark as it was originally intended to be used for clothes and sportswear. Zellem tried for several years and made about 30-40 attempts to come to an agreement via a co-existence agreement.

The so-called “NBA star” has unlimited access to resources, funds, and media ties, meaning he could have recruited any other NBA player as an endorser. Given his wealth, he could have kept going to court for as long as he wanted.

In 2017, Zellem filed a challenge to his trademark since he had shown no effort and literally had “Abandoned his Trademark” for lack of effort.

It took 6+ years to play out in the legal system surrounding the trademark in question for Czar Clothing.

The NBA Star’s lawyer did a great job of confusing the issue and postponing the moment when the NBA Star would have to prove that they had legitimately been using the trademark. Time ran out, and the US Trademark office issued a judgment that was catastrophic to their cause. They withdrew their conflicting trademark shortly thereafter.

Throughout the proceedings, Zellem’s lawyer urged him to change the name and to give up pursuing the Czar Clothing trademark. To Zellem, Czar Clothing was the male/unisex counterpart to their trademark for Czarina Clothing. Thus he resisted changing it. Nick told his attorney, It has to be Czar and Czarina. It has to match King-Queen, Yang-Yang, Czar-Czarina, etc.

Courtesy of Oleksandra Starynets

At the end of it all, Zellem’s lawyer praised him for his doggedness in not giving up, saying that he finally gets why his client was so resistant to giving up the fight and altering the name.

Some of the drama the defense attorney brought on for 6+ years was insane, crazy, and delusional. When they withdrew their registration for the trademark, the attorney for the NBA celebrity told the US Trademark office that Zellem and his attorney were working directly with Vladimir Putin and the Russian Government to “steal their trademark” (that they were not using for commerce). That attorney’s position was why would the US Trademark office allow “Foreign Agents to work directly with a hostile foreign Russian government to the US and Vladimir Putin to steal their trademark.”

Finally, Zellem was successful in acquiring the clothing trademark for Czar Clothing Czar was successful in acquiring its trademark.

Czar’s Success Is No Longer a Secret

By investing heavily in software automation and JIT inventory management, Czar Clothing has been able to weather the worldwide economic downturn.

Online-only retailer Czar Clothing saves money on rent and maintenance by not having physical storefronts. Although, Czar Clothing does participate with physical locations via Pop Up stores.

Other retailers had hundreds or thousands of locations and were significantly impacted when the government shut down the country due to Covid-19.

Despite the fact that their shuttered stores no longer provided any economic benefit, several of these retailers continued to pay thousands of dollars in monthly leases.

The monthly costs for hundreds of unproductive stores added up for some of these businesses to millions of wasted dollars.Czar Clothing’s ecommerce and online strategy eliminates the risk and cost of retail locations.

At present, the company’s main focus is on its e-commerce website, which caters to final consumers and can ship atheisurewear apparel worldwide. However, the company is constantly on the lookout for retail partners throughout the world to provide their “athleisurewear” apparel brand and allow them to sell it to their customers in exchange for a cut of the profits.

You can visit Czar Clothing at their website at https://czarclothing.com/ and you can follow and find their social media presence on their Linktree account at https://linktr.ee/czarclothing .