Forever 21 Reportedly Filing for Bankruptcy in the Midst of a Lawsuit with Ariana Grande

WRITTEN BY: CECILIE BREE WILKINS

The fast fashion chain clothing store, Forever 21, is reportedly going out of business, with plans to soon file for bankruptcy. Forever 21 then found itself in even more hot water when it was reported that Ariana Grande is suing the company for appropriating her image in their advertisements. 

As of 2016, Forever 21 was opening new locations, but like many of the trendy looks the brand carries, the hype around Forever 21 seems to be going out of style. The store currently has over 800 locations across 57 countries, but because Forever 21 has not commented on or confirmed the mass closure of its stores, it is unknown what’s to come for this massive chain. 

Many have compared the fate of Forever 21 to that of brands such as American Apparel, Wet Seal and Aeropostale, which have all closed in the last several years. The closing of these stores is thought by many to be a result of the growing craze of online shopping, making physical shopping locations unprofitable.

In the case of Aeropostale, the chain chose to selectively close locations, leaving open more successful stores rather than closing down all; it is possible that Forever 21 may take this route, meaning if you live in a larger city, you may still be able to shop the brand, meanwhile locations in more rural areas would likely close their doors.  

Adding even more financial pressure to Forever 21 this week was Ariana Grande who is reportedly suing the company for $10 million for using a lookalike of her in one of their ad campaigns along with a reference to her song lyrics. The lawsuit accuses Forever 21 of false endorsement, trademark infringement, and copyright infringement, among other claims.

According to legal documents filed in a California court on Monday, September 2, obtained by E! News the lawsuit was filed by an attorney on Grande and her company’s behalf. 

Prior to Ariana Grande’s partnership with H&M, Forever 21 was eager to work with her to create a social media marketing campaign, however Grande’s team never reached an agreement. Reportedly, the amount Forever 21 “offered to pay for the right to use Ms. Grande’s name and likeness were insufficient for an artist of her stature,” the documents state.

Forever 21 then proceeded to use Grande’s likeness in an instagram post with the caption, “Gee thanks, just bought it!”

While it is uncertain how this lawsuit has impacted Forever 21’s business, the brand has, like many others, suffered in the age of online shopping. It has not been confirmed what is to come for this once booming business, but it will serve as an example of what to expect for other favorite clothing chains in the coming years.

Photo Source: Los Angeles Magazine, New York Times

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