When you put Peter Fonda’s image on a T-shirt and sell it for $295 without his permission, he’s going to come after you. Nordstrom learned this the hard way after selling nine different T-shirt designs by Dolce & Gabbana with images of the actor from his 1969 movie “Easy Rider,” which Fonda co-wrote, produced, and starred in. Particularly for Dolce & Gabbana the lawsuit could not have come at a worse time, as the Italian fashion duo is currently dealing with charges of tax evasion that have led them to close nine of their Milan stores in protest.
Although Nordstrom has acknowledged that Fonda is pursuing a lawsuit against them, Dolce & Gabbana claim that they are unaware of any legal action taken against them. They claim that the use of Fonda’s image was through a contract made with Sony Pictures Consumer Products Inc., which they believe would make them legally compliant.
Fonda filed his complaint on July 19th in the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles citing reasons such as suffering, “injuries to his peace, happiness, feelings, goodwill, reputation, image, loss of fair market value of his services, and dilution of his current and future publicity value.” It is reported that he is seeking $6 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and any profits that have been made from the T-shirt sales.
It seems that this lawsuit has turned the T-shirt into a fashion faux-paux as Nordstrom has removed the T-shirt from their website. Apparently this season’s most fashionable trends thus far are tax evasion and use of likeness.