T-SHIRT TUSSLE: The legal battle between Topshop and Rihanna rolls on. This week, a judge at Her Majesty’s High Court in London granted an injunction requiring the retailer to refrain from selling T-shirts featuring a particular image of Rihanna without clearly informing customers that the garment is not endorsed, authorized or approved by the singer. The image the judge was referring to is one of Rihanna’s face from her “We Found Love” music video. It was emblazoned on a T-shirt that Topshop sold last year and no longer stocks.
Over the summer, the pop star won a court case in the U.K. against Topshop for selling the shirt. The judge had ruled that the item was damaging to Rihanna’s “goodwill,” and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the “fashion sphere.”
This story first appeared in the September 27, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
On Thursday, Topshop said in a brief statement that it “welcomed” the decision of Mr. Justice Birss to grant it permission to appeal his judgment. Topshop also dismissed reports in the British press that it was forced to pay the singer’s legal costs of nearly 1 million pounds, or $1.6 million at current exchange. The retailer said, instead, it has been ordered to make an interim payment of 200,000 pounds, or $320,504.
Subject to the judge’s decision being overturned on appeal, Rihanna will be entitled to a proportion of her legal costs, to be decided at a separate hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, Topshop said.