Photographer Sues Vera Wang For Posting His Image of Emily Ratajowski

emily ratajkowski lawsuit vera wang photographer

A photographer has sued fashion designer Vera Wang for posting a photo of Emily Ratajkowski on social media without permission.

Photographer Edward Opinalodo took photographs of model Ratajkowski wearing black sunglasses while walking in New York City on March 10, 2020.

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A screenshot showing Vera Wang’s alleged usage of Edward Opinalodo’s original photo of Emily Ratajkowski (according to court documents)

However, the photographer claims that he discovered his image on fashion designer Vera Wang’s Facebook page a few days later on March 13, 2020.

According to a lawsuit filed by Opinalodo on February 12, the fashion brand used his photograph of Ratajkowski without his consent.

The photographer claims that Vera Wang used his image to plug the company’s eyewear line and used the hashtag “#VeraWangEyewear” to highlight a particular pair of sunglasses that the model was wearing.

Vera Wang “used the Photograph to advertise its eyewear which it highlighted in its post writing ‘#EmilyRatajkowski wearing #VeraWangEyewear out and about in NYC. Style: Grace,” Opinalodo alleges in the lawsuit.

The New York Post reports that the photographer is seeking unspecified damages from the fashion company for the alleged copyright infringement.

This certainly isn’t the first time that an image of Ratajkowski has been at the center of a lawsuit.

The model, who has herself been sued numerous times for copyright infringement, has openly spoken out against photographers who have profited from her image and expounded her belief that she should be able to own and control that image.

In October 2019, Ratajkowski was sued for sharing a photographer’s image to her Instagram Stories with the caption “mood forever”. In the picture, she uses a large vase of flowers to hide her face from the paparazzi as she walks down a New York City street.

Ratajkowski described her anger and shock over getting sued for a photo of herself in her essay “Buying Myself Back” in The Cut.

“I learned the next day from my own lawyer that despite being the unwilling subject of the photograph, I could not control what happened to it, ” Ratajkowski writes.

“I have learned that my image, my reflection, is not my own.”

In court, Ratajkowski’s attorneys argued that her use of the image was a legal “fair use,” because she had posted it to Instagram as a criticism of invasive paparazzi. They argued she had transformed the photo from an “exploitative image” snapped without her consent to “a commentary on the harassing and relentless behavior of paparazzi.”

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos. and center photo via court documents