Skechers is back in legal hot water again — and not for ripping off another company’s shoes this time. A group of models is suing the shoemaker for not paying them as much money as it should have for appearing in one of the brand’s campaigns.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, 11 models accused Skechers of not paying them proportionally to how extensively their images were used to promote the brand. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Charles Davis, Angela Meng, Paisley McCollum, Daniel Liu, Chanel Celaya, Kathy Gardiner, Samantha Rex, Tracy Long Stover, Talesha Byrd, Sean Myrie and Marielle Jaffe all claim Skechers paid them for small-scale work and used the resulting images for large-scale marketing. And now they’re suing for $10 million in damages.
“Skechers, a large global corporation that makes billions of dollars in yearly sales … knew that the cost to use the plaintiffs’ images for such a wide-ranging global campaign would be expensive. … Skechers paid based upon small scale use for a short time [but] once the plaintiffs had posed for the photos, Skechers simply used the images in any manner it saw fit and for as long as it wanted in a blatant and willful violation of plaintiffs’ common law and statutory rights of publicity.”
While we’ve had trouble finding the ad(s) mentioned in the suit, our theory is that a few of them must include the actor Colton Haynes. After a few years of small potatoes modeling work (including a Skechers campaign he shot in 2009 with Charles Davis, who seems to be the suit’s lead plaintiff), Haynes made a big break with a role on MTV’s Teen Wolf. Now that he’s getting more and more famous, we’d understand that Skechers would want to continue to use his image to promote its brand — but if the other models are getting strung along and not getting paid for it, that’s not OK.
Anyway, you know how we love a good lawsuit, and while our Haynes theory might not hold up in a court of law, we’re excited to see where this case goes.