Tags: rihanna | wins | topshop | suit

Rihanna Wins Topshop Suit Over Using Her Image on T-shirts

Thursday, 01 Aug 2013 07:08 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Pop star Rihanna came out on top Wednesday in a lawsuit she filed against British clothing retailer Topshop for using her image on a T-shirt without her consent.

Topshop reportedly used an image from a 2011 video shoot in Northern Ireland and marketed it as the "Rihanna Tank." After the singer complained, the description was changed to "Headscarf Girl Tank" and "Icon Tank."

Rihanna claimed that the shirt misled fans to believe she had endorsed the product, and may have caused reputational damage as she tries to branch out as a fashion designer herself, according to the BBC.

Topshop argued the singer was wrong because she was assuming that only a celebrity could market a product with his or her image or likeness on it.

But the judge sided with the 25-year-old songstress.

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"I am quite satisfied that many fans of Rihanna regard her endorsement as important," High Court Justice Colin Birss said in his ruling. "She is their style icon. Many will buy a product because they think she has approved of it. Others will wish to buy it because of the value of the perceived authorization itself. In both cases they will have been deceived."

Though Rihanna sued for $5 million, the judge made no assessment of damages during Wednesday's court session. Topshop said it is weighing an appeal.

"Topshop are surprised and disappointed by the judgment handed down today," the retailer said in a statement after the ruling Wednesday. "We pride ourselves on the fact that many celebrities choose to visit and buy from us. We respect their boundaries and their privacy, as we do with that of all of our customers. We feel that the fact that Rihanna has shopped, worn, and had a relationship with Topshop for several years appears to have been detrimental to our case.

"There was no intention by Topshop to create the appearance of an endorsement or promotion; indeed this tank was one piece of jersey in a heavily stocked and wide-ranging T-shirt department, and we do not believe it conveyed any false message to our customers."

Rihanna has her own clothing line with Topshop competitor, River Island.

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