Kim Kardashian West’s lawsuit claimed Missguided profited from her brand and likeness. In one example, customers could click on photos of her and be taken to a Missguided page selling a similar look.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on July 4, 2019

Kim Kardashian West is known for many things – her sex tape, famous derrière, social media following, reality TV show and marriage to musician Kanye West – but she is a very savvy businesswoman first and foremost.

Kardashian West has been awarded US$2.7 million in damages against a fashion company, Missguided USA, that she alleges used her name and likeness to sell “knockoff” dresses. Kardashian West was also awarded an additional US$60,000 for legal fees.

The 38-year-old, who has a net wealth of US$350 million according to Forbes, originally sought US$10 million from Missguided USA, but was awarded the smaller sum by default, New York Post reported. Missguided USA never responded to the lawsuit.

Kardashian West’s original lawsuit claimed Missguided USA profited from her brand and likeness. The suit included images from Missguided’s website and Instagram that depicted Kardashian West and her outfits. In one example, customers could click on photos of her and be taken to a Missguided page selling a similar look.

“Missguided’s use of Plaintiffs’ marks is likely to cause consumers to mistakenly believe that Plaintiffs are associated with Missguided, or that they sponsor or endorse Missguided and its websites,” the lawsuit stated. “And in fact, consumers have already expressed such confusion, suggesting in social media posts and online articles that Plaintiffs must be in a ‘collaboration’ with Missguided.”

In a post that appears to have been deleted, Missguided USA reportedly uploaded a picture of their own version of the dress. It was captioned, “The devil works hard but Missguided works harder. Kim Kardashian, you’ve only got a few days before this drops online.”

Missguided USA has often used photos of Kardashian West to promote its designs, tagging her on social media and leading some to believe that she was working with the company (which she has repeatedly denied). There were even entire landing pages on the brand’s site dedicated to these dubious designs, with Kardashian’s own Instagram pictures included alongside the knockoffs.

The judge in the case ruled that Missguided “repeatedly used Kardashian’s name and likeness without permission on its social media platforms to promote the sale of its clothing”.

Missguided is permanently banned from using Kardashian’s trademarks, which include her face and other assets, to sell its own wares.

Kardashian has also publicly feuded with Fashion Nova, a similar fast fashion brand that works with Khloé Kardashian, and Kylie and Kris Jenner on sponsored social media posts, over its duplicate designs. Fashion Nova has not used Kardashian’s likeness to promote its knockoffs.

KIMINO STRIPPED OFF

Kardashian may need the money as she has agreed to drop the Kimino word from her new range of underwear. Less than a week after announcing a new underwear label, Kimono Solutionwear, she agreed to drop the brand name after an outcry from people in Japan, including the Kyoto mayor. She wrote on her Instagram, which has 142 million followers:

View this post on Instagram

Being an entrepreneur and my own boss has been one of the most rewarding challenges I’ve been blessed with in my life. What’s made it possible for me after all of these years has been the direct line of communication with my fans and the public. I am always listening, learning and growing – I so appreciate the passion and varied perspectives that people bring to me. When I announced the name of my shapewear line, I did so with the best intentions in mind. My brands and products are built with inclusivity and diversity at their core and after careful thought and consideration, I will be launching my Solutionwear brand under a new name. I will be in touch soon. Thank you for your understanding and support always.

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

She announced last Tuesday “a new, solution-focused approach to shape enhancing underwear” called Kimono Solutionwear. Fans and celebrities expressed their support, Kardashian West’s social media accounts received hundreds of replies, many using the hashtag #KimOhNo, expressing distaste for her word choice. More than 130,000 people had signed an online petition to “change this horrible cultural disrespect”.

Kyoto’s kimono-loving mayor, Daisaku Kadokawa, sent Kardashian West an open letter asking her to reconsider her attempt to trademark a name including the word “kimono.”

“Kimono is a traditional ethnic dress fostered in our rich nature and history with our predecessors’ tireless endeavours and studies, and it is a culture that has been cherished and passed down with care,” Kadokawa wrote.

Public records available from the US Patent and Trademark Office, reveal trademark applications for “Kimono Intimates,” “Kimono Body” and “Kimono Solutionwear” have been filed and examined since April 2018. Kardashian West’s Los Angeles-based lingerie line company is Kimono Intimates Inc.

In its trademark application that is currently under review, Solutionwear is characterised as “retail store services featuring clothing, lingerie, and accessories,” such as luggage bags, underclothing and swimwear “kimono”.