Ariana Grande is one of the biggest stars in the world, inspiring millions of people all over the world. However, in this case, imitation is not a form of flattery. Grande is suing Forever 21 and its spin-off cosmetics brand, Riley Rose, for $10 million, claiming that the fashion retailer used her “name, likeness and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free.”
The lawsuit which was filed on Monday in Federal District Court in Los Angeles revolves primarily around imagery from Grande’s music video 7 Rings. In it, Grande and her team claim the clothing brand falsely made it look as if Grande was backing their brand by using imagery from her Thank U, Next album and hiring a model that looked just like her.
Also in the lawsuit, Grande’s legal team states the starlet was approached by Forever 21 for an endorsement deal in late 2018 and early 2019, but the request was “explicitly declined due to Forever 21’s unwillingness to pay the fair market value for a celebrity of Ms. Grande’s stature.”
The suit goes on to claim that Forever 21 has continuously run the campaign on its website and social media. For example, an ad posted on February 8 on Forever 21’s Facebook page shows the items promoted with a slogan that plays off the lyrics from “7 Rings.”
Lyrics from 7 Rings such as “I want, I got it,” “Gee thanks, just bought it,” and “Who would have thought it’d turn me to a savage?”, can be seen in the ad above. As you can see, the description features the lyrics: “Gee thanks, just bought it,” the first slide reads “You want it, we got it,” and the seventh “Turn into a savage.”
Besides the lyrics, the aesthetics and style also seem extremely similar to the music video. In the Facebook ads and now-deleted Instagram posts, a Grande lookalike can be spotted wearing a high ponytail – the star’s signature look – and several of the looks in 7 Rings.
If you’ll take a look at the Facebook post above, you might be able to see some similarities. For example, the second slide which features hair accessories – comprising pink puffballs and sparkly tassels, the third which shows a model in purple camouflage pants, pink high heels, long white socks, and trailing belt, or maybe the fourth which shows a model lying down with a very long ponytail. All of the looks mentioned were worn by Grande in the video.
As you can see, pink puffballs and sparkly tassels, the purple camouflage pants, and the extremely long ponytail, all appear in the 7 Rings video.
This suit comes at a very bad time for the clothing brand. In August, Forbes published that Forever 21 considers filing for bankruptcy after sales dropped by 20% or 25% last year.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this will turn out. In the meanwhile, here are a few pictures featuring a model that looks very similar to Grande. Promise to keep you posted.
What do you think, similar?