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When the 99 percent were occupying Wall Street, one-percenter Jay-Z tried to make a buck with t-shirts that read, "Occupy All Streets." People were not happy about it and he stopped promptly. Now he is unhappy about a French company making money off his image and is suing for trademark infringement, among other things.
Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye, Rihanna, and Pharrell are all in on it. All five filed suit together against ElevenParis, which has printed and sold goods with the artists' images. According to the filing, "Defendants have willfully traded upon the goodwill and notoriety of Plaintiffs, arguably some of the most famous musical artists and entrepreneurs in the world."
The goods in question appear to have been removed from the ElevenParis website. The t-shirts reportedly said things like, "Pharrell is my brotha" and "Kanye is my homie."
Similar pieces remain, but deceased rapper Biggie Smalls appears to be the only American musician publicly featured on the company t-shirts now.
The French have their own stars, however, and there are other items that illuminate the ElevenParis style. "Karl is my father" is one slogan. That item has apparently been made very popular by Kylie Jenner who posted an Instagram photo with a shout-out to ElevenParis that got over one million likes and 100,000 comments.
Presumably Kylie's favorite refers to Karl Lagerfeld, the current designer for Coco Chanel (for whom she has modeled). For women there is also a t-shirt referencing Coco herself. It reads, "Chic like Coco."
The superstars argue in their suit that ElevenParis is infringing trademark, diluting their brands, and engaged in unfair competition. The 96-page filing points out that all five plaintiffs have clothing companies in addition to being recording artists. They are asking the company to stop selling the offending products and pay an unspecified amount of damages.
The interesting twist in this case, reported by eonline, is that -- although Kanye is not their homie and Pharell is not their brotha, after all -- Solange Knowles is their spokesmodel. The DJ who is best known for being Beyonce's little sister is representing ElevenParis while Queen Bey is suing the same company.
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