Kim receives $2.7 million default judgment from ‘Fast Fashion’ suit
Kim, Kim, Kim
We’re going to keep this short.
We talk about the Kardashians all the time. Of course, we do. The Kardashian clan and their various distant relations, suitors and hangers-on have turned life itself into a form of advertisement. They helped create our present culture, for better or for worse.
And since advertising is such a volatile mix of legal pitfalls, the Kardashians’ very existence seems to call lawsuits into being.
Did Kim try a lollipop? Lawsuit. Did Kendall make a single Instagram post about the Fyre Festival? Subpoena. Did Kourtney’s possible boy-toy wear a new set of specs? Lawsuit. Did Kim use her initials on a product? Lawsuit! Did Kanye West don an American flag jumpsuit inspired by Evel Knievel and ride a rocket over the Grand Canyon? (Lawsuit, sure, but maybe that last one is just exceptional.)
“Fast fashion” companies such as U.K.-based Missguided (get it?) make their bread on the same hyperspeed culture that created the Kardashian phenomenon. Fashion-brand rating site Good on You defines fast fashion as “cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed.” (Read the linked article – it’s an excellent overview).
This new force is eliding the old low-fashion/high-fashion categories that have dominated fashion in the modern era, much like the Kardashians blurred the boundaries between celebrity and real life. So it’s no surprise that such influencers as Kim and company feature heavily in fast fashion advertising and marketing.
And sometimes they feature in it against their will, claimed Kim Kardashian in her February 2019 lawsuit against Missguided in the Central District of California.
“Missguided systematically uses the names and images of Kardashian and other celebrities to advertise and spark interest in its website and clothing. Missguided’s website and social media pages are riddled with images of and references to Kardashian….” Kardashian sought no less than $10 million in compensatory damages, disgorgement of profits and a permanent injunction against the use of her likeness.
And Missguided’s response? Nothing. The company simply failed to respond to the complaint at all, leading Kardashian to file for default judgment. The court awarded Kim $2.7 million of her original request, awarding judgment against Missguided’s U.S. company only for reasons related to arcane matters of proper process serving in foreign countries. The court also enjoined Missguided from the use of Kim’s trademarks, so if we hear more about her lawsuits, they won’t involve this defendant. If you’re into legal rabbit holes, here’s the order. Have fun.
Why didn’t Missguided reply? In her motion for default judgment, Kardashian argues that the company “strategically” and “tactically” failed to respond in an attempt to sidestep liability. But beyond that self-evident explanation, Kardashian fails to offer any further insight. But when your opponents fail to show up to the dispute, why would you care?