Fairfield "Contra" Woman Sues Vampire Weekend | NBC Connecticut

Fairfield "Contra" Woman Sues Vampire Weekend

Former model reportedly files $2M lawsuit



    Getty Images
    June 25, 2010: Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend performs live in front of the "Contra" album art at the Glastonbury Festival in England.

    The mysterious polo-wearing woman gracing the cover of the Vampire Weekend album "Contra" was shocked to see her face looking back at her from the album and she is suing over it.

    Months before the album was released, the strangely compelling cover art was the subject of debate among VW fans. Despite the buzz, the band remained quiet about the photo's origin.

    "People have said it was 'haunting,'" lead singer Ezra Koenig told MTV back in January. "I had one person tell me it was 'porn-y.' We've had a lot of people ask us if it was sponsored by Polo or something. It's almost like a Rorschach test, because some people get very mad when they see a white blond girl in a Polo shirt. It makes you realize how much you can imagine about somebody when you know nothing about them, based on only a few signifiers."

    The woman in the much-buzzed about story is Ann Kirsten Kennis, of Fairfield, who worked as a high fashion model in New York in the 1980 and 1990s, according to several reports.

    According to a $2 million lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week, Ann Kirsten Kennis claims her signature was forged on a photo consent form, TMZ first reported.

    The picture was reportedly taken in the early '80s back when Kennis was working as a fashion model in New York, according to Entertainment Weekly:

    Kennis is asking the band, label XL Recordings, and photographer Tod Brody for at least $2 million for this alleged misappropriation of identity, arguing that "the album design, in which the Photograph is featured prominently, was a substantial factor in generating recognition and buzz for the Contra album, thus increasing sales and profits."

    Kennis' attorney said the former model first learned of the photo thanks to her daughter.

    "Her daughter came home one day and said, 'Hi, Mom, see your picture?'" attorney Alan Neigher told EW.

    Kennis, now retired from modeling, lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter, the magazine reported.