Ariana Grande sues Forever 21 for illegally using her likeness
Pop singer Ariana Grande has sued clothes retailer Forever 21 for using a model who looks very similar to her in their media campaign early this year.
This was after a breakdown in talks between Grande and Forever 21 to work on a marketing campaign because the company did not offer Grande enough money. Grande’s long-term endorsements can cost up to millions in fees.
Forever 21 and associated brand Riley Rose supposedly hired a model who looks like Ariana Grande and shot at least 30 images and videos, using audio and lyrics from her popular single 7 Rings. They then used these images to sell their clothes.
The model was wearing a high ponytail, which is Grande’s signature look, and hair accessories such as pink puffballs and sparkly tassels, which Grande wore in the 7 Rings video.
The model was also shot in purple camouflage trousers, pink high heels and long white socks, which Grande also wore in the 7 Rings video. The lawsuit also cites posts from Forever 21’s Instagram account that included images of Grande from the video to her song Thank U, Next.
Grande is suing for at least US$10 million in damages, claiming that the brand tried to suggest to the viewing public an affiliation between the pop star and the American fashion retailer.
"Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy," the company said. “That said, while we dispute the allegations, we are huge supporters of Ariana Grande and have worked with her licensing company over the past two years. We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future."
Forever 21 operates more than 800 stores in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. But the retailer is in financial trouble and is preparing to file for bankruptcy. A bankruptcy would help it to close down as many as 100 unprofitable stores and recapitalise the business.