Toyin Owoseje, CNN
Lego is being sued over a tiny black jacket worn by a figurine in a “Queer Eye” toy set, released last year, which depicts the original Atlanta loft featured in the hit Netflix show.
Fashion designer James Concannon, whose clothes are often worn by Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski, filed a lawsuit against the Danish toy company in a Connecticut district court in December. According to the complaint, obtained by CNN, Concannon asserts that in 2018 he created a custom leather jacket with his “signature propaganda-infused aesthetic” for Porowski, having already had several of his designs appear in “Queer Eye” since 2017.
The New York-based designer, who is seeking damages, has accused Lego of making a “blatant copy” of the jacket without his permission.
Concannon claims that while the show’s production team had always cleared his designs for use, Netflix allegedly didn’t contact him to ask for permission to use the jacket on a 2019 episode of the show. Concannon says he assumed at the time it was an oversight and didn’t pursue the issue until the release of the toy set (sold as “Queer Eye –The Fab 5 Loft”) in September 2021.
A side-by-side comparison of the leather jacket created by Concannon and the Lego toy figurine show similarities like a peace sign on the left lapel, and a skull design on the right side of the chest.
Concannon claims that Lego didn’t seek the designer’s authorization to use “the unique placement, coordination, and arrangement of the individual artistic elements” on his original creation for the figurine’s jacket and did not compensate him for his work.
Lego did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
He goes on to state that Lego “exploited the Concannon Jacket throughout the aggressive marketing of the ‘Fab 5 Loft’ set and also created animated versions of the jacket.
The lawsuit further adds that a Lego customer service representative allegedly offered Concannon “a free Fab 5 Loft set — which retails for $99.99 — for his six-year-old son to play with,” only for the company to later revoke that offer, saying “Lego does not give away its products for free.”
Concannon is seeking damages for willful infringement.
Lego has been producing branded sets targeting adult collectors for years. Besides the popular “Star Wars” series fans are also able to purchase sets from their favorite movies and shows including “Friends,” “Seinfeld, “Home Alone” and “Harry Potter.”
The sixth season of “Queer Eye” debuted on Netflix on December 31.
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