Editorial credit: Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.com


Fast fashion brand Missguided has been ordered by a Court in California to pay $2.7m damages to Kim Kardashian West following a complaint by her against the company’s US arm.

The reality TV star claimed that the company was responsible for unauthorised use of her “trademarked name and likeness to promote its website and products”.

The company showed a model wearing a gold dress on Instagram similar to one Kardashian West had shown herself wearing, and a caption tagging Kardashian West that said: “The devil works hard but Missguided works harder.”

In the allegations against Missguided USA, court documents said the company “not only knocked off the clothing of other designers, but it has unabashedly misappropriated the rights of celebrities like Kardashian in selling these knock-offs on its websites”.

It was said that the company “systematically uses the names and image” of stars to promote its website.

Missguided did not defend the claim and Kardashian West was awarded default judgment.

In addition to awarding damages and costs of $60,000 to Kardashian West, the Court ruled that the company was prohibited from using the reality star’s “name, images, likeness, persona, and trademarks… in connection with the sale, marketing or distribution of its products”.

In a statement, Missguided said: “We note the view of the California Court. The legal process has not yet reached a conclusion.”

In February Kardashian West herself spoke out against fast fashion companies on Twitter, saying: “It’s devastating to see these fashion companies rip off designs that have taken the blood, sweat and tears of true designers who have put their all into their own original ideas.”

The case appears to have been based in part on allegations that the company was responsible for false endorsement, i.e. incorrectly associating Kardashian West with the brand, which is a type of claim that can be pursued in English law as passing off, as well as for straightforward trademark infringement.

However, California law also provides for “image rights”, which can be used by individuals to protect their name and likeness in other circumstances.

Rights of that kind do not exist in the UK but can be a powerful weapon in the armoury of celebrities seeking to protect their image in the US.