• Wed, Aug 17 2011

Skechers Stiffs A Bunch Of Models, Gets Sued For $10 Million

"Thank god for lawyers, amirite?"

A group of 11 models have come together (alas, not in an effort to strengthen their super powers by alignment) to sue Skechers. The suit alleges that the shoe company used their likenesses in far-reaching, international ads and the models weren’t compensated. My understanding (please comment if I’m sort of/completely wrong) is that this happens not infrequently: a brand will shoot models for one thing (say, a lookbook) and end up using the images in a more widespread campaign… though it’s the brand’s responsibility to compensate the model for what ends up being a higher-profile gig, they don’t necessarily have to because the model’s agency is unlikely to ruffle feathers with a major/longstanding client. Which sounds like what the models are objecting to:

“Skechers, a large global corporation that makes billions of dollars in yearly sales … knew that the cost to use the plaintiffs’ images for such a wide-ranging global campaign would be expensive. … Skechers paid based upon small scale use for a short time [but] once the plaintiffs had posed for the photos, Skechers simply used the images in any manner it saw fit and for as long as it wanted in a blatant and willful violation of plaintiffs’ common law and statutory rights of publicity.”

So here we have an unusual situation in which the models themselves have banded together. And don’t fuck with models, apparently:

The plaintiffs, including Charles Davis, Angela Meng, Paisley McCollum, Daniel Liu, Chanel Celaya, Kathy Gardiner, Samantha Rex, Tracy Long Stover, Talesha Byrd, Sean Myrie and Marielle Jaffe, said Skechers engaged in “unauthorized marketing and advertising of [their] goods and services.” They are seeking at least $10 million in damages, as well as an injunction against further use of the images in question.

Skechers didn’t comment. More as this develops.

(WWD)

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