It's not uncommon for fast-fashion retailers to find themselves in hot water. In the last year alone, several well-known fast-fashion brands have all been accused of stealing or copying designs from independent brands. In the latest fast-fashion lawsuit, Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21 for allegedly posting video stills from her "7 Rings" music video, as well as images of a model who looks and is dressed "strikingly similar" to her on its social media accounts. In the lawsuit, Grande's legal team claims that the posts were meant to deceive customers and make them think she was affiliated with the brand, which she is not.
Elite Daily reached out to Forever 21 for comment on the lawsuit and Grande's claims, but did not hear back in time for publication. However, the brand did release a general statement on Sept. 3, disputing the claims. "Forever 21 does not comment on pending litigation as per company policy," read the statement. "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."
The New York Times reports that Forever 21 attempted to partner with Grande following the release of her her single "thank u, next" in November 2018, but she declined the deal, because, according to the lawsuit, "the amounts that Forever 21 offered to pay for the right to use Ms. Grande’s name and likeness were insufficient for an artist of her stature." The lawsuit also mentioned that a single Instagram post by the artist is worth “well into the six figures.”
While the photos in question have since been taken down from all of Forever 21's platforms, The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, and TMZ all have screenshots of the posts. One post reportedly featuring a still from her "7 Rings" video showed Grande sporting bejeweled pom-poms in her hair and was captioned with, "Best caption gets a follow back. Go! 💘 @arianagrande #LifeWithF21." Another post reportedly featuring a behind-the-scenes shot of Grande and two of her friends was captioned, "Tag your squad for the night. 💖 @arianagrande #LifeWithF21."
The other images featured in the lawsuit show a model with a fairly spot-on likeness to that of Grande's look and outfit in the "7 Rings" music video. In one image, a model sporting a slicked back ponytail was pictured wearing a bedazzled pom-pom headband that appears similar to the aforementioned hairstyle Grande sported in "7 Rings;" in another, the model wore purple camouflage pants, pink heels, and a crop top, which seems to mimic a full look Grande wore in the video. “The resemblance is uncanny and Forever 21’s intent was clear: to suggest to the viewing public that Ms. Grande endorsed Forever 21, its products, and was affiliated with Forever 21,” read the lawsuit.
If I could make a guess, I'd say that Grande's response to a future partnership with Forever 21 will be thank u, next.