Peter Fonda Sues Dolce & Gabbana, Nordstrom Over ‘Easy Rider’ T-Shirts

Fonda claims the Italian designers used his image illegally and seeks $6 million in damages

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The 73-year-old scion of the Fonda acting dynasty has filed a lawsuit against beleaguered Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, as well as retailer Nordstrom, for manufacturing and selling T-shirts that he claims use his image illegally. The $295 garments in question feature Fonda’s likeness from the 1969 film Easy Rider. The actor is asking for damages of no less than $6 million.

The movie was a hit to the tune of $41 million during the height of ‘60s counterculture, and its biker imagery has since become legendary. Fonda also produced and co-wrote the film in addition to starring in it.

Nordstrom, named as a party in the suit for selling the merchandise, has since pulled the tees from its website and told WWD that the department store is “aware of the lawsuit and are reaching out to our vendor to determine next steps.” For the design duo Dolce & Gabbana, this is the latest in a string of misfortunes to befall them. In June, a judge slapped them with a jail sentence for tax evasion—in addition to a $400 million fine already levied. As a result, a Milan city official suggested that the brand should not be allowed to show their spring 2014 lines in the city’s public spaces. D&G then temporarily shuttered their nine Milan stores in protest.

While Nordstrom may weather Fonda’s legal proceedings with minimal damage to its reputation, Dolce & Gabbana can hardly afford another hit to theirs. Let’s hope the rest of 2013 proves to be an easier ride.

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