Model Ginta Lapina Preserving Her Brand In the Courts

Source – Elle Espana

Plaintiff:         Ginta Lapina, 25 year old Latvian fashion model contracted to Women Management who has done campaign work for Anna Sui, Diet Coke, DKNY and Jill Stuart and modelled for DKNY, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Caroline Herrera, Anna Sui, Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs

Defendants:         Schwarzkopf, hair products company and Women Management who have managed Lapina since 2008, when she debuted at New York Fashion Week.

What is this suit all about:

Lapina  claims that she was “tricked” and misled into doing a campaign for Schwarzkopf after being told that it was for a campaign for Karl Lagerfeld. Lapinta’s claim, filed in the Manhattan Federal Court, also claims that her image was used without her permission and she was not properly compensated for the work done.

The New York Daily News has reported most comprehensively on the case to date and has informed readers that it appears this all started in July last year when our leggy Latvian took off for Paris, at the direction of her agency, on the belief that she was doing a photo shoot by Karl Lagerfeld to accompany an interview with the designer for a story called the “Schwarzkopf Look 2014 Trends.”

The Schwarzkopf Look 2014 Trends advertorial was not billed as an advertising campaign and therefore Lapina was only to be compensated for her time for the photo shoot.  There was to be no money paid for the use of her image.  According to Lapina’s court papers, as reported in the New York Daily News, Schwarzkopf struck a deal with Women Management and the agency permitted the advertising campaign to go ahead with Lapina being paid a measly $19,700 for her time. All this allegedly without Lapina’s knowledge or authorisation.

Lapina alleges in her claim that the deal has “diluted” her brand, because “Schwarzkopf products and look of advertisement are not of the caliber normally endorsed by a model of [her] stature in the industry.”  Typically, the suit says, models of Lapina’s “caliber and renown are solicited for advertising campaign by clients ‘willing to pay a model a high-six figure sum.’”

According to the suit, ‘the Defendants conspired to obtain a top model for an advertising campaign without having to pay the usual and customary compensation that a top model commands.’  

Coupled with particulars of Lapina’s previous campaigns it would seem that the above statements will go some way to justifying the $1 million or so in damages that she is claiming plus an order barring Schwarkopf from using the pics.

Interestingly, it seems that the relationship between Lapina and her agency is on shaky ground considering statements made by Women CEO Sergio Leccese to New York Daily News that he was “surprised and disappointed” by the claim. It seems that Women are denying the allegations and intend to seek their own remedies in connection with the dispute.

Considering that last year Lapina agreed to renew an exclusive management contract with Women Management through to January 2016 we can only wait and see how this will play out.