Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyoncé and Jay Z have banded together for such projects as the Tidal streaming service, but their most recent joint effort – along with Pharrell Williams – isn’t as peachy. After French label ElevenParis “brazenly” used their names and likenesses on T-shirts and other merchandise, the quintet has brought a joint lawsuit against the company. Items used without permission include the "Kanye is my homie" slogan and song lyrics.
The label – which counts celebrity fans such as Kylie Jenner, Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez, all of whom have worn their designs – faces over 50 complaints in the lawsuit, which demands they cease manufacturing any products with images of five stars, as well as covering any profits made alongside legal fees.
Although the merchandise concerned is no longer available on the website, the lawsuit claims its actions “have caused and are causing immediate irreparable harm” to the five A-listers, all of whom have their own collections or fashion collaborations.
“Defendants [i.e. ElevenParis] have willfully traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of Plaintiffs, arguably some of the most famous musical artists and entrepreneurs in the world,” read the lawsuit, filed at the federal court in New York on Thursday. “Even after receiving warnings from Plaintiffs to cease and desist from selling the infringing products… defendants continue to sell [the] unauthorized goods.”
One complaint is specifically on behalf of Beyoncé, who alleges that the brand “breached the terms and conditions” of a deal the Crazy in Love singer struck with ElevenParis back in January, claiming they received and ignored warnings as well as a cease-and-desist regarding the use of her name, image, likeness and trademarks.
ElevenParis have since confirmed that negotiations are underway with the five music giants. “ElevenParis is determined to find a fair and balanced agreement with them and their advisers,” read a statement from the label.