Street Artist’s Lawsuit Against Moschino Over Katy Perry Dress Is Going to Trial

Will Rime win against Jeremy Scott?

Katy Perry, Jeremy Scott Photo: Clint Spaulding/Patrick McMullan.

A California judge has ruled in favor of Joseph Tierney, the Brooklyn-based street artist better known as Rime, in his case against high fashion label Moschino and its creative director Jeremy Scott. The August 2015 suit alleges that Scott and Moschino used imagery from a 2012 mural by Rime for a dress worn both on the runway and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art gala by pop star Katy Perry without the artist’s permission. (Perry, however, is not named in the suit.)

The creative director was served legal papers in September during the Los Angeles premiere of a documentary film about his life and work entitled Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer.

Women’s Wear Daily reports that on January 13, US District Court judge Stephen V. Wilson denied two separate motions to dismiss by Moschino and Scott. The case will move forward, with the next court date set for May 23.

In his motion to dismiss, Scott argued that Tierney did not adequately allege his involvement in the copyright infringement claim. The designer notes that the images were created and selected by a graphic artist completely independent of him, but he has refused to release the name of the artist.

Gigi Hadid walks the runway for Moschino. Photo: IMG Models.

Gigi Hadid walks the runway for Moschino.
Photo: IMG Models.

“At this early stage in the case, the Court finds that Tierney has shown a probability of success on the merits,” the decision reads. “Although Defendants may have only used “RIME” on two articles of clothing in their collection, the pieces appeared alongside the highlight dress of the collection, which heavily featured Tierney’s ‘Vandal Eyes’ mural.”

The judge also noted the dubious nature of Scott’s story, given that it’s very likely “the high-profile head designer…would participate in the design of its most high-profile garment of the season,” and thus, Scott should also be held responsible.

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