A well-known Spanish footwear brand has wanted to take advantage of King Felipe VI’s image for advertising purposes.
Felipe of Spain has established himself as one of the most elegant and admired men in men’s fashion globally.
The Spanish monarch’s taste for classic tailoring and his poise have earned him rave reviews from style experts such as Derek Guy.
Unauthorized use of the image of King Felipe VI
Precisely because of this appeal, the footwear brand Yuccs used in its Instagram stories an official photograph of the king alongside Queen Letizia and his daughter Infanta Sofia to promote its sneakers.
Specifically, the brand used the photograph of Infanta Sofia’s farewell before her departure to UWC College.
In the photo, the Spanish royal family posed with casual looks at the gates of the Zarzuela Palace.
King Felipe opted for Yuccs sport shoes, the Merino Sport Navy model, which is priced at 105 euros, (about $112 at the current exchange rate).
The promotional image highlighted that the model of sneakers worn by the monarch was “The King’s favorite sneakers” and included a link to purchase them online.
However, according to the Spanish portal Vanitatis, this use by the brand constitutes an infringement of the monarch’s image rights.
On the official website of the Royal Household, it states that:
“the graphic material used and the copyright on it is protected by the legislation on Intellectual Property”. In addition, “for its reproduction it is necessary to request authorization from the owner of the rights”.
Therefore, if the firm Yuccs did not request the pertinent permission to make commercial use of the king’s image, it would be infringing the law.
It should be noted that this protection of the image not only applies to Felipe VI as head of state but extends to any citizen according to the Spanish Constitution and the Organic Law 1/1982 on the Civil Protection of the Right to Honor, Personal and Family Privacy and Self-Image, as highlighted by the aforementioned media.
In other words, any person has the right to exploit his or her own image and to object to third parties using it without prior written consent.
Therefore, the strategy usually followed by the brands that dress the Royal Family is simply to communicate through publications that their garments and accessories are present in the royal closet, without making direct use of their image for profit.
In any case, because of his position and institutional role, it is very unlikely that King Felipe will initiate any legal action against the shoe brand.