Ariana Grande files lawsuit shortly after Forever 21 goes bankrupt

Julia Jacobs,

Lanie Gatson, Contributing Writer

Pop singer Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21 and sister company Riley Rose. She is requesting $10 million in damages after the clothing store hired a look alike model for their social media campaign.

Since then, about 30 posts were removed from their social media pages. The posts were first noticed and requested to be taken down in February, but they weren’t gone until mid-April.

“Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy. That said, while we dispute the allegations, we are huge supporters of Ariana Grande and have worked with her licensing company over the past two years. We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future,” Forever 21 expressed.

The model was seen using the Florida native’s same look in her “7 rings” music video for an Instagram photo.

From the color scheme (neon pink and purple), the ponytail hairstyle, hair accessories and using similar lyrics to her single as an Instagram caption, it is no coincidence.

Grande decided to take matters into her own hands and filed a lawsuit on Sept. 2 at California federal court. Daniel Petrocelli, who is representing Grande, claims Forever 21 violated California’s right of publicity statute, false endorsement under the Lanham Act, trademark infringement and copyright infringement.

According to CNN, “The documents allege Forever 21 and Riley Rose published at least 30 unauthorized images and videos “misappropriating Ms. Grande’s name, image, likeness and music in order to create the false perception of her endorsement.”

Riley Rose is a beauty concept store created by the daughters of the owners of Forever 21 back in 2017.

According to the complaint, Grande was offered an endorsement deal back in late 2018 and early 2019. The collab did not proceed because Forever 21 did not want to value the celebrity’s stature. Therefore, the singer declined.

“Notably, the endorsement deal Forever 21 sought with Ms. Grande centered around social media marketing, including, but not limited to, Twitter posts, Instagram posts, and Instagram stories,” says the complaint.

Grande claims the company has capitalized off her success to sell products. She is currently one of the top female artists in the world. 

The pop singer has released two albums, “Sweetener” and “thank u, next” within five months of each other. Both albums have numerous of singles that have reached number one. Not to mention the superstar is currently on tour promoting both of her projects.

Ever since February 2019, Grande has become the most followed woman on Instagram. She currently has 165 million Instagram followers. 

This isn’t the first time the clothing store has been sued for trademark infringement. Famous brand Gucci filed a lawsuit back in 2017 when Forever 21 was using blue-red-blue and green-red-green stripes on certain items.

It seems the clothing store thinks they can get away with copying other brands, or history is simply repeating itself. Either way, they’ve been in hot water over the same charge too many times.