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Kim Kardashian Sues Fast-Fashion Retailer For Using Her Likeness Without Consent
By Mikelle Leow, 24 Feb 2019
Images via Featureflash / Shutterstock.com and Missguided
Kim Kardashian, one part of reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians and founder of beauty company KKW Beauty, isn’t kool with brands kashing in on her kommerciality.
The socialite is suing online fast-fashion brand Missguided for leveraging her likeness and name to retail knockoffs of her outfits, several of which hail from renowned designers.
According to documents filed on behalf of the star in a California federal court, Kardashian’s representatives are alleging that the Manchester-based retailer has performed “willful” trademark infringement and unfair competition, as well as breached publicity law by using her name and images of her without consent.
Kardashian’s unhappiness about her fame being exploited has been bubbling under covers for awhile. She had warned brands like Missguided to “at least wait until I wear this in real life before you knock it off,” but to no success.
Just hours after her announcement, Missguided rolled out a remarkable copy of the outfit she was wearing when she made her declaration, as well as hired a lookalike model to pose in the getup:
Missguided don’t give a fuck what Kim k has to say pic.twitter.com/Io59WEW0xZ— noush (@anouskamoss_) February 8, 2019
“The devil works hard but Missguided works harder,” it revealed in an Instagram post that has since been deleted.
Another fast-fashion brand notorious for taking “inspiration” from Kardashian’s looks, Fashion Nova, executed a similar marketing ploy later on, spurring theories that the Kardashian-Jenner family might be collaborating with fast-fashion labels on the sly.
The accusations have proven to be too absurd for Kardashian and her counsels, who in the complaint, defend that, “While most companies understand and respect [Kardashian’s] right to control and approve any use of her name and likeness in connection with the promotion of products, other companies have sought out ways to leverage her celebrity status and social media following without seeking her consent.”
While Fashion Nova and other similar labels are careful not to name the Kardashians or Jenners in its apparels, Missguided has taken a more explicit approach of “systematically using [her] name and images of [her]... to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing.”
On Missguided’s website, for instance, lay a ‘Shop Kim K’ website that featured images of Kardashian. The segment is no longer live.
“Missguided made this sort of unlawful misappropriation of Kardashian’s persona—and that of many other celebrities as well—a cornerstone of their marketing and sales strategy,” the document alleges.
It adds that a “single social media post by Kardashian can fetch fees of several hundred thousand dollars, and her longer-term endorsement arrangements regularly garner fees in the millions of dollars.”
Kardashian asserts that she is suffering monetary damages from Missguided’s advertisements, which could mislead consumers into believing they have a business relationship.
The filing also claims that the reality star is “selective of the third-party companies with whom she chooses to partner,” as well as frequently declines endorsement propositions in order to “control the use of her name, likeness, and trademarks.”
In a lengthy social media rant delivered last week, Kardashian also stressed that her relationships with designers “are very important to me.”
“It’s taken me over a decade to build them, and I have a huge amount of respect for the amount of work that they put in bringing ideas to life,” she said.
Kardashian is seeking monetary damages “no less than US$10 million” from Missguided, and wants the fast-fashion retailer to immediately and permanently stop using her name and likeness. The actual amount that Missguided might owe her will be determined at trial.
[via The Fashion Law, images via various sources]
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