Ariana Grande sues Forever 21

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Forever 21, a company rife with its own problems and a looming path to bankruptcy, has recently found itself on the receiving end of a 10 million dollar lawsuit courtesy of Ariana Grande.

The fast fashion retailer is facing the consequences of using the singer’s likeness in various Instagram posts without her permission, and, given the information available about her case, she has a strong chance of winning the settlement.

Back in February, the company contacted Grande in hopes of striking an endorsement deal with her, and it seems that after she turned it down, the company went ahead and used her “aesthetic” to promote their own products.

Now, there’s a reason that the company is facing the closure of at least 700 of their stores. It seems the market for their products is dwindling drastically, and, in an attempt to remain relevant and appealing, took notes from H&M — which features an Ariana Grande branded clothing line that was created with the pop star’s consent and knowledge.

And while it may seem like a trivial issue, and Grande is certainly not hard-pressed for money — it isn’t right for an already morally ambiguous company to take what they please simply because they’re desperate for an effective promotional scheme to sell their cheap products.

If the way to remain relevant in a cutthroat world of changing fashion is to exploit images that are clearly mirrored directly from a 26 year-old woman’s music videos, then perhaps Forever 21 needs to reevaluate their business strategies and spend what little money they have left on their social media advertising after they pay the “7 Rings” star the money that she is due.

it isn’t right for an already morally ambiguous company to take what they please simply because they’re desperate for an effective promotional scheme to sell their cheap products.

Grande is by no means blemishless herself, and although I am a big fan of her and her music, I can acknowledge that the similar issues she’s run into aren’t forgettable or justified either.

She paid the price for interspersing pieces of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” into “7 Rings” and ended up forking over 90 per cent of the royalties.

It should be a simple fact and aspect of reality, especially in the entertainment industry, that if you take or clearly use creations, likenesses or pieces of another person’s work for your own benefit or product, you owe that person some sort of compensation for doing so.

And while it’s not very likely that most people who shop at Forever 21 are on the hunt for sustainable, well-made, innovative pieces of clothing from a retailer who utilizes effective marketing and advertising campaigns — looking at you, Aerie — it doesn’t mean that they’re above the law because of it.

Regardless of whether or not you like Ariana Grande, dislike doesn’t justify writing off the utilization of her brand and images without her expressed consent.

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