Style & Beauty

Urban Outfitters Sued For $28 Million For Inappropriate Pictures Of 15-Year-Old Model (UPDATED)

Just like its retail siblings American Apparel and Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters always seems to be getting itself in some sort of trouble.

This time it's not distasteful tees but rather distasteful pictures. The New York Daily News reports that the parents of a 15-year-old model are suing the retailer for using "x-rated pictures" of her, taken by photographer Jason Lee Perry in 2010, on t-shirts and other merch.

The photos, the lawsuit says, feature the young model "posed in a blatantly salacious manner with her legs spread, without a bra, revealing portions of her breasts" and pubic hair, violating laws that forbid portraying a child in a "sexually suggestive manner."

The lawsuit also states that the girl was photographed with a beer and riding on a motorcycle without a helmet, but that sort of seems besides the point.

We weren't able to find any of the offending products on Urban Outfitter's website ourselves, but the Daily Mail found a picture of one of the t-shirts in question.

The $28 million lawsuit, in which the model's parents say they knew the shoot was happening but did not give permission to use the pictures, is yet another controversy over the suggestive portrayal of young girls, which seems to be a hot topic in recent weeks.

10-year-old model Thylane Loubry Blondeau ignited the debate over sexualizing young girls from her saucy pictures in a French Vogue photo shoot. More headlines have cropped up since, including a story about a kiddie lingerie line (and the questionable photos used to promote it) as well as Good Morning America's story over padded bras aimed at young teens.

Retailers and magazines may be riding a cultural youth wave -- tweens might simply be the next "It" thing, replaced by some other phenomenon in a month or two. But in the meantime, fashion is ruffling more than a few parental feathers.

UPDATE, 3/12/12: After Urban Outfitters tried and failed to have the case dismissed, Clauson's suit will move forward in court.

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