Style & Beauty

Hailey Clauson Urban Outfitters Lawsuit Headed To Court

Hailey Clauson, the teenage model who sued Urban Outfitters for $28 million, may finally be heading to court.

Women's Wear Daily confirmed today that the retailer's efforts to get the lawsuit, filed back in August 2011, dismissed have been rejected by New York federal judge George Daniels.

Clauson and her parents sued Urban Outfitters upon discovering that Clauson's image was being used on t-shirts and other merchandise sold at the store. The problem? The family contends that the pictures were inappropriate, showing the then 15-year-old model "in a blatantly salacious manner with her legs spread, without a bra, revealing portions of her breasts," according to the lawsuit.

Clauson's parents knew that the photographs existed, having been present when photographer Jason Lee Perry snapped their daughter in 2010.

But Urban Outfitters and co-defendants Blood Is the New Black and Brandy & Melville used the images without Clauson's consent, meaning the pics were used "to create false endorsement or false designation of origin, as well as claims for false representation of the characteristics or qualities of plaintiff’s modeling services,” said Judge Daniels. Thus the case will be moving forward in court.

It's not the first time Clauson has been caught in the eye of a model controversy storm. As the CFDA and its president Diane von Furstenberg debated the issue of too-young models on the runway last year, von Furstenberg herself was exposed for having accidentally cast Clauson, then 15, in her Fall 2011 show.

Clauson also recently attracted media buzz with a questionable photo shoot for Pop magazine, which shows her being "strangled." Jezebel called the image "disturbing" while Fashionista suggested its potential for "glamorizing violence against women."

Despite the stream of incidents, 17-year-old Clauson's modeling career has been coming along swimmingly, with editorials in recent issues of Vogue Japan, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue Australia.

October 2011

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