NEW YORK— Drake and 21 Savage have been sued by Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue magazine, for using the Vogue name without permission to promote their new album “Her Loss.”
Conde Nast said the rappers’ promotional campaign, including to their more than 135 million social media followers, was built “entirely” on the unauthorized use of Vogue trademarks and false representations they would appear on Vogue’s next cover, with the “love and support” of longtime editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
“All of this is false. And none of it has been authorized by Conde Nast,” according to the complaint filed on Monday night in Manhattan federal court.
Conde Nast said the defendants also created a counterfeit issue of Vogue that was distributed in major metropolitan areas, accompanied by posters whose layout mimicked Vogue’s own.
It said the result was “unmistakable” confusion among the public, including media that touted Drake and 21 Savage as Vogue’s “new cover stars.”
Larry Stein, a lawyer for the defendants, declined immediate comment on Tuesday, having yet to review the complaint.
Conde Nast, also known as Advance Magazine Publishers Inc, is seeking at least $4 million in damages, or triple the defendants’ profits from their album and “counterfeit” magazine.
It also wants punitive damages, and an end to any trademark infringement.
“Her Loss” has gotten mixed critical reviews since its Nov. 4 launch.
Conde Nast said it had tried repeatedly since Oct. 31 to resolve its differences with Drake, a Toronto native, and 21 Savage, from Atlanta.
“Defendants’ flippant disregard for Conde Nast’s rights have left it with no choice but to commence this action,” it said.
—Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot