Smashbox makeup artist takes LVMH to court over alleged copy of lip art
Vlada Haggerty, Smashbox’s recently appointed “lip editor in chief”, filed her complaint in federal court in California late last week, alleging that LVMH-owned Make Up For Ever (MUFE) copied her lip art in its logo for its new Lustrous cosmetics line.
The logo in question depicts parted lips coated in high-gloss lacquer which is forming a drop on the bottom lip. Haggerty alleges that the image copies two “dripping lip” looks which she first published on her Instagram in 2015 under the titles “Dripping Gold” and “Rose Gold Lip Art”.
Both of Haggerty’s images are copyrighted and the “Rose Gold” variation is a registered trademark.
A statement issued on the makeup artist’s lawyer’s website, claims that MUFE’s logo does more than simply take inspiration from Haggerty’s work, as it exactly replicates her lip art’s drip placement, highlights and “distinctive texture”. It also states that use of the image to promote the brand’s Lustrous line has led to “actual confusion as to whether Vlada is affiliated or collaborating with MUFE,” citing comments from Instagram users.
According to the makeup artist, MUFE had previously approached her concerning a possible collaboration in 2016 and 2017, but she declined as she was already working with a competing cosmetics company under an exclusive contract.
“After Vlada declined MUFE’s requests, MUFE went ahead and adopted an unauthorized logo for its new line of “Lustrous” cosmetics that directly copied Vlada’s trademarked and copyrighted lip art,” the statement concluded.
Haggerty also took to social media to call out the makeup brand, posting a comparison image on her Instagram and telling her over 803,000 followers, “If you too were wondering about the MUFE's holiday collection: no, I did not collaborate with them on it. Instead, I said 'No' multiple times, but they clearly went ahead and used my images anyway.”
Vlada Haggerty is a Ukrainian-born, LA-based makeup artist who has been featured by brands such as Pat McGrath Labs, Cover Girl and NYX Cosmetics.
She previously threatened Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics with legal action via Instagram in 2015, although a complaint was never filed.
With new communication technologies leading consumers to expect ever greater transparency and accountability from companies, social media has established itself as the favored platform for designers and other creatives wishing to publicly shame brands over alleged copies.
Designer Lisa Marie Fernandez published details of her case against Emily Ratajkowski’s Inamorata Swim line on her Instagram account in November of last year, while Jimmy Kimmel recently took to Twitter to denounce alleged copies of his daughter’s designs produced by Reformation.
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