Kim Kardashian West, celebrity, model, and makeup mogul, is suing Missguided, a fast fashion company, saying that the company’s Instagram tags and posts rely on her likeness to sell clothes. Missguided is known for replicating celebrity fashion looks at more affordable prices, but Kardashian claims that the company illegally used her “persona and trademarks” to help sell those replica styles. She’s seeking at least $10 million as retribution and asking that the company ceases using her likeness.
The lawsuit includes images from Missguided’s website and Instagram. On the website, Missguided is shown having a page dedicated to Kardashian with photos of her outfits. Customers can click on photos and be taken to a page selling a similar look. Kardashian also includes an Instagram post of hers, where she specifically calls fast fashion brands out for copying her, and then a post from Missguided in which the company says it’ll have a similar dress in a few days. Missguided’s post has since been deleted.
Kardashian claims that Missguided uses images of her without her permission, such as the one embedded below, to sell its clothing. Kardashian’s team says the use of Kardashian’s image helps “advertise Missguided’s brand and website.”
The lawsuit claims that Missguided didn’t just inappropriately use Kardashian’s name and likeness in conjunction with its brand, but it also violated trademarks around her name, which have been used to advertise other companies’ products.
“Missguided’s use of Plaintiffs’ marks is likely to cause consumers to mistakenly believe that Plaintiffs are associated with Missguided, or that they sponsor or endorse Missguided and its websites,” the lawsuit states. “And in fact, consumers have already expressed such confusion, suggesting in social media posts and online articles that Plaintiffs must be in a ‘collaboration’ with Missguided.”
Missguided issued a statement to E! News, saying, “We haven’t received any notification of legal action, but in any event any action based on online banter would be meritless. Missguided shoppers know the score—We’re about the celeb look, for people without their bucks. For the record, as much as we love her style, we’re not working with Kim on anything.”
Fast fashion brands re-creating celebrity looks are nothing new, but Instagram has changed how these companies find trends and replicate them. Kardashian often posts her looks first on Instagram where brands can find them and start working to create something similar.
Shopping on Instagram is also a new focal point for the social network and a behavior that users are starting to develop. They can bookmark looks, shop them directly within the app, and generally use Instagram not only as a place for inspiration but also as a virtual mall where they can buy things to live out their consumer dreams.