If you’re Luka Sabbat, a photo of you could be worth $60,000.
Or to be more precise: one photo and three Instagram stories. That’s how much the Instagram influencer, also known for once dating a Kardashian, was offered when he signed a contract with PR Consulting to wear Snap’s Spectacles.
The deal included one Instagram post of Sabbat in the glasses, as well as a photo of the model and stylist wearing the specs in public.
But the day before Halloween, PR Consulting filed a lawsuit in New York alleging Sabbat didn’t fulfill his end of the agreement.
An Oct. 19 Instagram post shows Sabbat sporting a pair of thick-rimmed, black shades. But it’s unclear if the brand is Snap. In addition, PR Consulting said in the complaint that Sabbat didn’t produce the required amount of Instagram stories, was never photographed in public with the glasses and didn’t abide by other terms, including agreeing to let the branding firm edit posts before they were put online.
Now the company wants Sabbat to pay back the $45,000 advance.
The terms of Sabbat’s contract are unknown. But according to the complaint, 20-year-old Sabbat, “admitted his default but nonetheless, refused to return any of the funds.”
History is full of celebrities and influencers not upholding their contracts for various reasons. (Remember when Natalie Portman refused to wear Dior on the red carpet after John Galliano’s anti-Semitic rant?) But it is rare that legal action is taken.
“It is too risky to sue an influencer for breach of contract in this way, lest it simply makes the brand look bad,” said Susan Scafidi, founder and director of the Fashion Law Institute in New York. “There’s always the fear of the headlines reading something like ‘The celebrity hates the brand so much that he or she can’t even be paid to wear them.’”
Sabbat, who has 1.4 million Instagram followers and is a generally well-known face among the fashionable, can be seen globetrotting on his Instagram account, from New York to Paris to Rio de Jañeiro, hanging out with the likes of Paris Hilton and Yara Shahidi, his “Grown-ish” costar, at fashion events while tagged in a Le Coq Korea jacket or Cariuma sneakers. Paid partnerships on his account include Evian Water and Seven For All Mankind.
Representatives for Sabbat and PR Consulting would not respond to requests for comment.
The latest version of the Snapchat sunglasses, which come with a camera built in the frame for taking photos and videos, range between $150 and $200.
“The Snap glasses might win in the end by receiving more attention than they would have from a post by one single influencer,” Scafidi said.