Vampire Weekend LP Cover Model Speaks

Meanwhile the legal
flap heats up as various people come out of the woodwork, smelling money…


By Fred Mills


So, that whole Vampire Weekend kerfluffle surrounding the
cover photo of their latest album Contra just gets better and better. Well, not really. But it’s back in the news cycle


Recall how a little over a month ago word arrived of Kirsten
Kennis – a much younger version of whom is indeed the girl on the VW sleeve – filing
a lawsuit over the unauthorized use of her image. (We compared this to the 1991
controversy over Sub Pop act Tad’s 8-Way
record sleeve.) Shortly thereafter, both the band’s label and frontman
Ezra Koenig made some generally noncommittal statements about the matter,
obviously just trying to buy some time in the public mind while the lawyers got
in gear.


So today at, Kennis is interviewed at her
home in Fairfield, CT, by writer Jessica Flint about the Vampire
Weekend deal. In a story titled “Vampire Weekend’s Mutinous Muse” Kennis
discusses how here 13-year old daughter Alex came across a shot of the record
cover in a Barnes & Noble ad. Kennis is quoted as saying, “And I was like,
‘Yeah, that’s strange. That’s me, many years ago,'” Flint adding that Kennis was “momentarily
stunned by the sight of all that beautiful hair. Three weeks earlier she had
completed chemotherapy for breast cancer, and her hair was just starting to
grow back.”


The story goes on to outline how Kennis, a retired catalogue
model, gradually changed from bemusement to anger, and eventually decided to
file a $2 million lawsuit. Kennis is quoted, “It felt like someone was
exploiting me. Who do these people think they are that they can just take my
picture from god only knows where and plaster it everywhere?”


From there the story gets even more interesting, involving
modeling agencies, a photographer with a very seamy background, accusations and
cross-accusations of where the photo actually came from (and therefore who owns
the rights to it), and the refusal of Vampire Weekend to comment amid the
realization that they just might get stuck for a pretty hefty legal bill. Read
the whole thing here
, and see a photo of Kennis in 2010 as well.





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