On the heels of settling a copyright infringement lawsuit with famed graphic designer, Jimbo Phillips a few seasons ago, designer Jeremy Scott has been slapped with yet another infringement lawsuit. This time, Scott and Italian design house Moschino are on the receiving end of a lawsuit filed by Joseph Tierney, the street artist referred to as “Rime,” in connection with more alleged copying by Scott, who serves as creative director for Moschino and his own eponymous label. According to Rime’s complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on Wednesday, “Defendants Moschino and Jeremy Scott – two household names in high-fashion – inexplicably placed Rime’s art on their highest-profile apparel without his knowledge or consent.”
In his complaint, Rime alleges that Scott copied his well-known street art (namely, the mural, “Vandal Eyes” - pictured above - which Rime was invited to create on a building in Detroit in 2012) for his Fall/Winter 2015 Moschino collection. In particular, Rime notes a Moschino dress, the gown that model Gigi Hadid wore to close the show and that singer Katy Perry subsequently wore to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala this year, and a jacket from the same collection, which Scott wore to the annual industry gala. The complaint goes on to state: “In case consumers entertained any doubt that the artwork in question was Rime’s, Defendants also added Rime’s name and fake signature on the clothing, in advertisements, and in media photographs.” And it does not stop there … “If this literal misappropriation were not bad enough, Moschino and Jeremy Scott did their own painting over that of the artist—superimposing the Moschino and Jeremy Scott brand names in spray-paint style as if part of the original work.”
In addition to the vast amounts of media coverage that Scott’s design received from the Met Gala (think: photos in the New York Times, CNN, Vogue, Vanity Fair, People, and US Weekly, among other publications, it turns out, as part of Moschino’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection, “Moschino and Scott released a capsule collection featuring graphic designs that included literal copies of images of [Rime’s] mural. To add insult to injury, Moschino and Scott also included a forgery of Plaintiff’s signature and Plaintiff’s name “Rime” throughout the collection.” Rime claims in his lawsuit that the publicity surrounding such designs surely has helped to boost the brand’s sale. He states in his complaint: “According to the Wall Street Journal, Moschino’s financial statements reveal a 16% increase in revenue for the first quarter of 2015, precisely the time period in which Moschino debuted the Collection featuring Plaintiff’s artwork.”
Rime is seeking an injunction (which would require that Moschino immediately and permanently cease all sales and marketing of the infringing items) and an array of damages. Scott was relatively quick to settle his last copyright infringement lawsuit and chances are, that is what will happen here, but stay tuned …
IMAGE COURTESY OF FASHION TO THE MAX.