THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE — Luka Sabbat, the young fashion figure that was popularly coined “the influencer who failed to influence” in connection with a Snap, Inc. deal gone awry, has to fork over $15,000 for failing to uphold his end of a $60,000 partnership. In accordance with a settlement reached by counsel for the 21-year old fashion “it” boy and PR consulting, Sabbat – who was enlisted by the New York-based public relations company to promote Snap, Inc.’s Spectacles glasses during the Spring/Summer 2019 fashion shows last fall – has to pay back some of the money he was paid upfront for the deal.
According to a stipulation entered on Tuesday by Judge Arthur Engoron of the Supreme Court of New York, Sabbat is required to “produce [an] original confession of judgment” and to also “make payment of $15,000 within 10 days” pursuant to the parties’ settlement.
The settlement, which enables Sabbat to keep $30,000 for his single Instagram post promoting Snap’s Speclales, comes just over 6 months after TFL first revealed that PR Consulting had filed suit against Sabbat. The PR company asserted that it entered into a formal influencer agreement with Sabbat on September 15, 2018 in furtherance of which he agreed “to create and post certain content on social media in connection with a 'Spectacles Marketing Campaign' ... for PRC's client Snap, Inc.”
In particular, the influencer, who maintains close ties with the Kardashians, as well as Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, was tasked with “creating original content for a minimum of four unique posts: one Instagram Feed Post and three Instagram Story posts. Two of the Story posts were to be in New York, related to fashion shows and parties during New York Fashion Week ... and one Story post was to be in Milan or Paris, related to fashion shows and parties during [the respective] Fashion Weeks.” He also agreed “to be photographed in public wearing product tied to the 'Spectacles Marketing Campaign' during Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks.”
While Sabbat did, in fact, produce “one Feed Post and one Story post,” on Instagram, where he maintains 1.4 million followers, he “failed to post 1 additional Instagram story in New York and 1 in Milan or Paris, and also failed to be photographed in public at least once in the aforementioned cities while wearing Spectacles product,” prompting PR Consulting to file suit.
The established PR company asked the court to force Sabbat to return the $45,000 it paid to him upfront and to pay interest and additional "consequential and incidental damages" for failing to uphold the contract that he signed. Still yet, PRC has asked the court to order him to foot its legal bill.
In a formal response to PRC’s lawsuit, Sabbat’s legal counsel asked the court to dismiss the case in its entirety, asserting that PRC “fail[ed] to state a cause of action upon which relief may be granted” (i.e., PRC has not presented sufficient facts that a violation of law has occurred), and failed to include a necessary party to the litigation (presumably Snap, Inc.).
Sabbat’s counsel further claimed that PRC “lacks standing to file suit” against him, or in other words, PRC is not the proper party to file the case against Sabbat. While PRC was undoubtedly working on behalf of its client, Snap, Inc., in connection with the influencer deal with Sabbat, a lack of standing claim seems like a stretch considering that the contract at the center of this breach of contract case was entered into between Sabbat and PRC, not Snap, Inc.
Moreover, Sabbat alleged that PRC “has not suffered any damages,” and thus, will be “unjustly enriched” if he is forced to turn over the $45,000 he was already paid and/or pay any additional damages.
* The case is PR Consulting, Inc., v. Luka Sabbat, 655382/2018 (NY Sup).