So sue me! 9 of the most controversial lawsuits in fashion history
As Drake gets slapped with a £3.5 million lawsuit from Vogue, we remember fashion’s most ridiculous lawsuits, like when the Car-Freshner Corporation tried to sue Balenciaga
On Her Loss, Drake flies the flag for petty misogyny. Having spent the summer LARPing as an Ibizan house DJ, the 16-track album – made in collaboration with 21 Savage – is punctuated with all sorts of callous digs at women, namely Megan Thee Stallion, who was allegedly shot in the foot by Tory Lanez back in 2020. “This bitch lie about getting shots, but she still a stallion / She don’t even get the joke, but she still smiling” he raps on “Circo Loco”, despite Lanez being hit with assault charges that could land him up to 23 years in prison. But Drake, a man who seems to exclusively date teenagers and forgot about his child until the internet reminded him, is now experiencing something of a karmic blow… a hefty lawsuit from Condé Nast.
The media conglomerate has claimed that the new album’s promotional campaign was built almost “entirely” on the unauthorised use of Vogue trademarks. This included Drake shilling bootleg issues of the magazine and plastering mock layouts onto major billboards, touting himself as the publication’s next cover star – all with the “love and support” of Anna Wintour. “All of this is false,” a complaint filed in a Manhattan federal court outlined. “And none of it has been authorised by Conde Nast.” Lawyers are seeking at least £3.5m – or triple the profits made from the album and fake magazine – alongside further punitive damages. “The defendants’ flippant disregard for Condé Nast’s rights have left it with no choice but to commence this action.”
Drake lost the battle, but fashion companies, so protective of their prestige and positioning, love an excuse to sue, because brands copy each other all the time. The most prolific offenders are obviously fast fashion labels, but the law can rarely do anything about that, so when an IP trademark genuinely is infringed, it means big business. It’s just what the rich do (no hard feelings etc) and Drake is unlikely to miss £3.5 million. Fashion archivist David Cassavant, for example, recently sued Kanye West for over 400k in unpaid clothing: “The lawsuit is just a formality in business,” he told us not long after. That attitude compounds one of the industry’s longest-held traditions – Nirvana’s sued Marc Jacobs, Hells Angels sued Alexander McQueen, and Christian Louboutin sued Saint Laurent.
Balenciaga was even sued by the Car-Freshener Corporation, bless them. Anyway, here’s some of the most memorable times fashion brands got very angry with each other and demanded financial retribution.