Pop singer Ariana Grande filed a lawsuit against Forever 21 Inc., alleging that the fashion retailer posted her pictures on its social media accounts and used a look-alike model to trick customers to think that she endorses its products. The singer is seeking $10 million in damages.
In the lawsuit, filed in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, the singer alleged that the retailer and its sister concern Riley Rose beauty company stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands, for free.
The singer, aged 26, claims that Forever 21 posted snapshots from her “7 Rings” music video in its Instagram account. Also, she said the company’s advertisements depicts a model dressed similarly to Grande in the video. The ad caption also echoed lyrics from the song.
The lawsuit stated, “The resemblance is uncanny and Forever 21’s intent was clear: to suggest to the viewing public that Ms. Grande endorsed Forever 21, its products, and was affiliated with Forever 21.”
The filing comes after talks between the parties for an ad collaboration centered on social media fell apart. The singer declined a deal due to the retailer’s unwillingness to pay Grande’s fair market price, the filing noted.
As per the lawsuit, a single social media post by Grande can garner fees of several hundred thousand dollars.
The news comes as a blow to the retailer, which is reportedly preparing for a bankruptcy filing due to failure in its turnaround plans.
Forever 21, the clothing store for millennial shoppers, was in news recently for infuriating customers by sending a free diet snack along with online orders. Many on social media took it for body shaming of plus-size customers.
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