In an assembly of super powers not matched since this summer’s Avengers 2, music’s biggest moguls are lawyering up against a French clothing brand popular for trendy slogan tees. Beyoncé, Jay Z, Pharrell Williams, Rihanna and Kanye West filed a joint lawsuit in federal court in New York this week, accusing ElevenParis of using their names and likenesses on its T-shirts, hats, mobile phone cases and other merchandise without permission.
They also claim ElevenParis ignored their warnings to halt sales in stores and on its website. The merch in questions bares slogans like "Kanye Is My Homie" and "Pharrell Is My Brotha," as well as Beyoncé and Rihanna song lyrics. They each claim their individual brands have suffered “immediate irreparable harm" and are seeking to recoup losses and triple the damages caused by the alleged trademark infringement.
In an interesting twist, a number of A-Listers have worked with the brand and sometimes promoted it in the past. Bey’s sister, Solange Knowles, fronted the company’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign. Yeezy’s sister-in-law Kylie Jenner recently shared a photo of herself wearing a “Karl Is My Father” tee, a reference to Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld, on Instagram.
With so many heavy hitters involved, it’ll be interesting to see how the lawsuit plays out in court. But think about it: should this thing go to trial and Yeezy takes the stand, the merchandising opportunities are endless.
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(Photos from left: Monica Schipper/Getty Images, Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images, Victor Boyko/Getty Images for Vogue)