Steve McQueen’s estate has sued Tom Ford for $1 million (£765,715) over a cardigan that is being marketed under the actor’s name.
The Bullitt star’s son, Chadwick McQueen, has accused the designer of improperly trading on his father’s image and trademarks by using his name to market the garment – dubbed the McQueen Cardigan – which retails for up to $2,390 (£1,838).
At the height of his popularity in the 1970s, the actor was considered one of Hollywood’s most stylish stars, and is often credited for the revival of the cardigan.
Chadwick, who maintains his father’s trust, argued that the style of wool cardigan with a shawl collar is one of the “sartorial items that in fact became synonymous with McQueen,” and went on to call the late actor “king of the cardigan.”
While the Papillon star’s estate has occasionally licensed the McQueen name for commercial use, including for a current deal with Barbour for outerwear, they claimed that Tom Ford “refused” their request to stop the use of the name related to the sweaters.
In the complaint, Chadwick’s lawyer wrote that the celebrated American designer was unfairly benefiting from the star’s name and stature, and claimed that his estate is due a share of the profits from the item.
“By unfairly benefiting from the public attention and exclusivity that would have accompanied an authorised relationship with the McQueen family, defendants have deprived the family of the commensurate compensation for use of the Steve McQueen name and likeness,” the complaint suggested.
A spokesperson declined WWD’s request for comment on the pending litigation, citing company policy, but they insisted: “We look forward to vigorously defending our rights.”
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