27 September 2013 by

Rihanna Vs. Topshop: Singer Wins Court Case After Topshop Printed Her Face On T-Shirts

UPDATE: During a hearing at the High Court this week, Rihanna won a permanent ban on Topshop selling T-shirts featuring her face. Although Ri-Ri didn't make an appearance, the high street brand was ordered to pay the singer's legal costs of almost £1million, a fee which Sir Philip Green found ‘startling’ and ‘somewhat surprising’. She also sought the return of any unsold T-shirts, but all 12,000 have already been sold. Mr Justice Birss ruled that it was ‘right and fair’ that the style icon should be granted an injunction to prevent any future similar wrong use of the 'unflattering' image and that it representd 'a loss of control over her reputation in the fashion sphere'.

31 July 2013: Rihanna Wins Topshop Court Case 

Is that the sound of champagne popping from Bad Gal Ri-Ri's yacht? News has just landed that the singer has won a court case against Topshop who were selling a T-shirt emblazoned with her face. According to court documents, Rihanna is due to be compensated with approximatley £15,000.

A statement from Her Majesty’s High Court stated that a 'substantial number' of Topshop customers were likely to have 'false belief' that the merchandise was authorised by the singer. The sale of the T-shirt, the judge said, was damaging to her 'goodwill' and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the 'fashion sphere.'

'The persons who do this will be the Rihanna fans. They will recognise or think they recognize the particular image of Rihanna, not simply as a picture of the artist, but as a particular picture of her associated with a particular context, the recent ‘Talk That Talk’ album,' said judge Mr Justice Birss. 'For those persons, the idea that it is authorized will be part of what motivates them to buy the product. I am quite satisfied that many fans of Rihanna regard her endorsement as important. She is their style icon. Many will buy a product because they think she has approved of it.' This problem is heightened by the fact Ri-Ri has designed a collection for Topshop's competitor, River Island.

As for Topshop, a spokesperson for the brand was 'surprised and disappointed by the judgment handed down today'. The brand plans to 'robustly dispute the judge’s decision' and will consider appealing. '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.'

20 May 2013: Rihanna Is Suing Topshop

Rihanna Vs. Topshop: Singer Wins Court Case After Topshop Printed Her Face On T-Shirts

Rihanna with Topshop boss Sir Philip Green in 2010 & the T-shirt that began the law-suit

Given the commercial value of a celebrity’s image, it’s not surprising that Rihanna is reportedly suing high street giant Topshop after one of its suppliers created a T-shirt emblazoned with her face that went on sale in the store at the end of last year. The image, taken from the star’s ‘We Found Love’ video, has been the subject of some speculation since that time, not least because Rihanna is currently collaborating with Topshop rival, River Island, on a hit spring collection, the second drop of which is due to go on sale this coming Saturday.  The first installment of crop tops, jumpsuits and split skirts, all inspired by Rihanna’s own wardrobe, went in store in February, and saw fans queuing around the block to buy it.

The case will be heard at the High Court of Justice in London this summer and should Rihanna win it will be groundbreaking. According to Women’s Wear Daily, there is currently no law in place that prohibits the use of a celebrity’s image in this country, so long as it is paid for and not trademarked which, given the time and expense involved, such things rarely are. Rihanna’s lawyers will need to prove that by using a picture of her face Topshop is claiming the star is in some way endorsing both the product in question and the brand more broadly and that is not necessarily the case.

 At time of going to press, both River Island and Topshop declined to comment.

Rihanna attends the Miu Miu show on March 5, 2014 in Paris, France wearing a Prada coat

Rihanna attends the Chanel show on March 4, 2014 in Paris, France dressed in Chanel

Rihanna attends the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015 on March 3, 2014 in Paris, France

Rihanna attends the Roc Nation pre-Grammy brunch on January 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

Rihanna poses in the press room at the 2013 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California

© Getty

Rihanna in Alexander Wang out and about in London - 11 September 2013

© Getty

Rihanna at Opening Ceremony at New York Fashion Week - September 2013

© Getty

Rihanna at Alexander Wang after party at New York Fashion Week - September 2013

Rihanna in Balmain at 2013 MTV Video Music Awards after party - 25 August 2013

Rihanna at 'Lyon' restaurant, West Village, New York - 12 August 2013

Rihanna out and about in London - 20 July 2013

Rihanna in London - 18 July 2013

Rihanna in Rag & Bone out and about in Manchester - 16 July 2013

Rihanna in visor by Fleet Ilya out and about in London - 15 July 2013

Rihanna in Gareth Pugh out and about in London - 14 July 2013

Rihanna in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci menswear and Versace shoes in Monaco - 13 July 2013

Rihanna in KTZ in Denmark - 6 July 2013

Rihanna in Tom Ford AW13 boots arriving in Poland - 6 July 2013

Rihanna at Chanel show, Haute Couture Fall Winter 2013, Paris Fashion Week - 2 July 2013

Rihanna out and about, London, Britain - 20 June 2013

Rihanna in Stella McCartney top and clutch at Rorrey Fenty after show party at Boujis nightclub, London - 16 June 2013

Rihanna in Christopher Kane out and about, London - 16 June 2013

Rihanna in Big Star USA dungarees at the All Star Bowling Alley, Manchester - 12 June 2013

Rihanna in Miu Miu out and about, Manchester - 11 June 2013

Rihanna out and about by the Eiffel Tour in Paris - 7 June 2013

Rihanna Filming In New York - 16 May 2013

Rihanna out and about, New York - 9 May 2013

Rihanna in Rihanna by River Island in New York - 12 May 2013

Rihanna out and about in New York - 5 May 3013

Rihanna in Mary Katrantzou and Tom Ford sandals - 30 April 2013

Rihanna in Miu Miu coat and Current Elliot jeans - 28 April 2013

Rihanna in Acne jacket, Rodarte coat, Celine shoes and Miu Miu sunglasses in New York- 26 April 2013

Rihanna in custom Givenchy By Riccardo Tisci and Paige Denim jeans in Miami - 21 April 2013

Rihanna in Rag and Bone and Chanel jewellery at the Staples Center in Los Angeles - 21 April 2013

Rihanna in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci t shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim jacket, Saint Laurent Paris by Heidi Slimane shoes - 24 April 2013

Rihanna in T by Alexander Wang and shoes by Tom Ford - 21 April 2013

Rihanna in dress by Whitney Eve and Prada sunglasses - 11 April 2013

Rihanna at Los Angeles Lakes Basketball game - April 2013

Rihanna arriving in London - February 2013

Rihanna in custom Azzedine Alaia at the Grammy Awards - February 2013

Rihanna at River Island show at London Fashion Week - February 2013

Rihanna - November 2012

Rihanna - June 2012

Rihanna in London - February 2012

Rihanna at Grammys - February 2012

Rihanna launches her new album 'Unapologetic' in New York City, November 2012

Rihanna at the MTV Video Music Awards, September 2012

Rihanna at Grammys - February 2011

Rihanna in Acne at Westfield, November 2012

Rihanna during her 777 tour, November 2012

Rihanna performs during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Show, November 2012

Rihanna at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Battleship', May 2012

Rihanna in Tom Ford at the Costume Institute Gala, May 2012

Rihanna at the TIME 100 Gala in New York City, April 2012

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Rihanna in New York City, June 2012

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