Beyonce Leads Pop Star Legal Assault on French Fashion House

Beyonce Vanity Fair Party - H 2015
AP Images/Invision

Beyonce Vanity Fair Party - H 2015

Can Beyonce Knowles-Carter's new supergroup beat a "confidential agreement" she made earlier this year with the French fashion house ElevenParis?

On Tuesday, she along with Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Robyn Rihanna Fenty and Shawn "Jay Z" Carter filed a complaint in New York federal court over use of their names and images on t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hats, backpacks and cell phone cases. The lawsuit asserts a whopping 58 claims including violation of publicity rights, trademark infringement and unfair competition over ElevenParis products bearing slogans like "Kanye is my Homie" and "Pharrell is my Brotha" and clothing featuring nicknames like Jay Z's "Hova," Beyonce's "Cayonce" mark, and copyrighted song lyrics.

The superstars are alleging that the French fashion house is advancing false associations, but there's also a curious 58th claim — the very last one — from Beyonce alone that possibly suggests more here than meets the eye.

According to the complaint, Beyonce entered into a secret deal with ElevenParis this past January.

The terms of the deal aren't laid out, but ElevenParis is alleged to have "breached the terms and conditions" by selling unlicensed merchandise. The lawsuit reports that ElevenParis received warnings and a cease and desist over using the plaintiffs' names, images, likenesses and trademarks, but that ElevenParis continue to do so. This allegedly is in "direct contravention of both a written agreement with at least one Plaintiff, as well as ongoing settlement discussions in which Defendants have represented and warranted that they are no longer selling infringing merchandise anywhere in the world."

ElevenParis hasn't commented on the lawsuit.

Brad Rose at Pryor Cashman is representing Beyonce (and the other superstars). Here's the complaint.