Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for $10 Million

09/03/2019

It looks like the CEO of Forever 21 will be receiving more than '7 Rings' from Ariana Grande's lawyer.

On Monday, the 'Thank U, Next' singer filed a lawsuit against the popular retailer for $10 million on the basis of trademark infringement. Forever 21 is accused of using Grande's "name, image, and likeness" to aid their social media campaign back in February. 

According to the suit, Forever 21 and beauty brand Riley Rose, which was founded by the daughters of Forever 21 CEO Do Wan Chang, reached out to Grande earlier this year to have the pop star endorse their clothing brand. However, Grande and the retailer were unable to reach a negotiation because the amount Forever 21 offered was "insufficient for an artist of her stature."

Grande performing during The Honeymoon Tour in 2015
Grande performing during The Honeymoon Tour in 2015

As a result, Forever 21 seemingly took matters into their own hands by posting 30 unauthorized photos and videos of Grande on their Instagram and Facebook pages in an attempt to create what Grande's lawyer called "a false perception of her endorsement." 

The since-deleted posts featured pictures of what looks like Grande on the set of both 'Thank U, Next' and '7 Rings.' along with the hashtag #LifeWith21, leading the public to believe that Grande was, in fact, endorsing Forever 21.

Photos obtained from original lawsuit.
Photos obtained from original lawsuit.

Perhaps the most interesting, albeit alarming, posts were ones that featured a model who could easily be mistaken for the pop star herself.  Rocking Grande's well-known high ponytail, an outfit similar to the one the singer wore in her '7 Rings' video, and a set of pouty lips to match, one could almost think that the two women had been separated at birth. 

The photo on the left is from Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' music video. The photo on the right is one of the original ads by Forever 21 that has since been deleted. Photo from thenews.com.pk
The photo on the left is from Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' music video. The photo on the right is one of the original ads by Forever 21 that has since been deleted. Photo from thenews.com.pk

Although Grande contacted Forever 21 around February 23rd, two weeks after the retailer published their social media campaign, the posts were not deleted until around April 17th, further sparking Grande to pursue legal action.

While trademark infringement is a considerably serious accusation, many fans are not siding with the pop princess in wake of the lawsuit. Many took to Twitter to denounce Grande's claims of the retailer using a lookalike model, with one user stating that anyone could look like the singer.

Others claimed that Forever 21 was simply inspired by Grande's look and that she was not the first to invent it.

Still, Grande's legal team insists that Forever 21 acted out of malice with the intent to confuse consumers and trick them into believing that the singer endorsed the brand. The singer's lawyer went on to say that because the retailer was going bankrupt, they attempted to salvage their brand by utilizing Grande's image and persona, regardless if they received permission or not.

Here is an excerpt from the suit:

Forever 21 has yet to respond to the allegations. As for Grande, winning this lawsuit against the retail giant may just make her one 'Dangerous Woman.'