Everyone knows Annie Hall's style was all her own.
Woody Allen sued American Apparel Inc. for $10 million Monday, saying the clothier wrongfully used an image of him from his 1977 Best Picture Oscar winner for a billboard and online advertising campaign.
According to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the 72-year-old filmmaker contends that he never lends himself to endorsements of commercial products or services in the United States and, therefore, the ads are "especially egregious and damaging."
The movie still utilized in the ad, which has shown up on billboards in New York and Los Angeles, is taken from a scene in which Allen's character, Alvy Singer, imagines himself as a Hasidic Jew.
In the close-up picture, Allen is sporting a full beard and sidelocks and wearing a black brimmed hat. Above his head are the words the holy rebbe, printed in Hebrew lettering and to the side, in English, American Apparel.
Allen states that American Apparel never contacted him about using the image from his film, for which he also won Academy Awards for directing and original screenplay and received his only nomination to date for acting.
The billboard "falsely implies" that Allen, who maintains strict control over his creative work, "sponsored, endorsed or was associated with" American Apparel, the lawsuit says. He's seeking $10 million in compensatory and unspecified punitive damages.
The L.A.-based company, which proudly touts a something-for-everyone mantra and readily identifies its advertising style as "provocative" in a photo gallery on its website, could not immediately be reached for comment.