Former Model Sues Over Vampire Weekend ‘Contra’ Cover Art

We’ve all seen the cover of Contra, the latest album from Vampire Weekend.  And we’ve probably wondered, who is that kind-of plain-but-attractive girl, and why did they pick her to be their cover model?  The photo looks old, sure, but the way things are these days with prefaded jeans and hi def music with the crackly vinyl sounds of yesteryear added in, it’s a bit hard to tell if things are actually old or just made to look that way.

The photo is actually old, and the cover model-in-question is Kirsten Kennis, a former fashion model from the 80s. Kennis claims this photo was taken in 1983 by photographer Tod Brody, and she is suing Brody and Vampire Weekend (on the other blogs where this is mentioned, they kept saying VW, and I kept wondering, “what does Volkswagen have to do with all this?”  Duh, silly me!) for approximately $2 million for unauthorized use of her image.

Vampire Weekend has yet to comment, but let me tell you: I’ve done a bit of modeling myself.  When you go to a shoot, you sign a paper that states that your photographer can sell the image to whoever he wants, and once you consent to someone capturing your likeness, it’s up to him/her what he/she does with it, as long as it isn’t putting your head on someone else’s naked body and selling it.  It seems to me that Kennis is just seeing dollar signs, especially now that Contra has become a huge success.  Because if in 25 years I find that my face shows up on the cover of a cool album, I’d be tickled.  I might want to know if I could have a free CD and a couple of concert tickets, but that would be pretty badass to me.

What do you think?

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