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Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21 for look-alike make-up campaign


TextAlex Peters

The $10 million trademark-infringement lawsuit was filed yesterday by the singer

Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21. Yesterday (September 2), the singer filed a $10 million trademark-infringement lawsuit against the company for hiring a “look-alike” model as well as using unauthorised images of Grande, her name and other “intellectual property” to promote its clothing and beauty brand Riley Rose.

According to the court documents, Forever 21 approached Grande early this year seeking an endorsement deal with the singer, which she declined due to the company’s “unwillingness to pay the fair market value for a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature.” A single Instagram post, the documents state for reference, costs “well into the six figures.” Forever 21 and Riley Rose then proceeded to steal Grande’s “name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free,” her lawyers claim. “Fearing irrelevance in a rapidly evolving market” and “declining success” are suggested as possible motives for the actions.

The documents go on to state that Forever 21 capitalised on the success of Grande’s thank u, next album by publishing over 30 unauthorised images and videos related to Grande’s name, image likeness and music. Grande’s lawyers also accuse the company of hiring a look-alike model and posting images of her in clothing and accessories that resembled that worn by Grande, particularly in her “7 Rings” video. 

“Defendants did not simply use a model with a similar look and hairstyle;” the documents state. “They used a model who looks strikingly similar to Ms Grande wearing a similar hairstyle to the one Ms Grande wore in the “7 Rings” video, dressed in a top designed to look like a top worn by Ms Grande in numerous well-known photographs... using a pose that is virtually identical to the pose in which Ms Grande was photographed, in certain instances, with “7 Rings” audio played over the post…”

The documents say that despite reaching out to Forever 21 to remove all content, the company did not do so. Grande’s lawyers are asking for $10 million in damages. This lawsuit is just the latest in a string of legal issues for the company. Last week, Bloomberg reported that Forever 21 was preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing. 

Earlier this year, Grande filed for the trademark of “thank u, next” to be used for an upcoming beauty range although as of yet no products have been released under the name. 

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