Judge Bars Rappers Drake & 21 Savage From Promoting Phony Vogue Cover

A New York federal judge barred rappers Drake and 21 Savage from using counterfeit Vogue magazines and covers, or using the likeness of its editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, to promote their new album, finding Wednesday that Conde is likely to win its copyright suit against the duo.

DrakePhoto Credit: Shutterstock

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff issued a temporary restraining order just two days after Conde Nast accused Drake, 21 Savage, and their public relations firm of creating fake magazines depicting the artists to promote their collaboration album “Her Loss,” which hit streaming platforms on Nov. 4.

The rappers are “confusing consumers about the origin, sponsorship, and approval” of the bogus Vogue cover, the judge stated.

“All of this is false,” Conde Nast’s complaint states. “And none of it has been authorized by Conde Nast. In furtherance of their deceptive campaign, defendants have gone so far as to create a counterfeit issue of Vogue Magazine — distributing copies in North America’s largest metropolitan areas, plastering photos of the counterfeit cover along streets and buildings throughout these cities, and disseminating images of the unauthorized counterfeit magazine to more than 135 million social media users who actively follow Drake and 21 Savage on social media along with an untold number of others who have viewed false social media posts like this.”

Drake captioned the photo featuring the phony Vogue cover on his Instagram page: “Me and my brother on newsstands tomorrow!! Thanks @voguemagazine and Anna Wintour for the love and support on this historic moment. ‘Her Loss’ Nov. 4th.”

Conde Nast alleges that some media outlets falsely believed the cover feature was legitimate and produced stories about the pair landing the cover of Vogue as part of the album’s release, with the issue hitting newsstands on Oct. 31. That same day, Hiltzik Strategies, believed to be the artists’ team hired to promote the record, sent out emails announcing that copies of Vogue featuring 21 Savage and Drake were going to be handed out in specific locations across the U.S.

Conde Nast’s legal counsel Christopher Donnellan wrote to Hiltzik, demanding the defendants immediately cease the campaign and their unauthorized use of the Vogue mark, take down all posts featuring the counterfeit cover, and issue a public statement clarifying that this was not a legitimate Vogue cover. The suit claims there was no response to that message.

The publication asserts several claims against the defendants, including trademark infringement, counterfeiting, false designation of origin, unfair competition, trademark dilution, false advertisement, and violations of New York General Business Law.

Conde Nast seeks relief from the court, which includes an order blocking defendants from creating, using, displaying and distributing copies and images of the counterfeit magazine and cover, the Vogue mark, and Wintour’s name, image and likeness in connection with promoting the album. They’re also requesting that the court order the the deletion all social media posts promoting the record depicting copycat versions of Vogue magazine and the destruction of all physical copies of the infringing content.

Read more articles from Haute Lawyer, visit