Lorna Jane allegedly stole a woman's Instagram photo to print on its clothing.

Not again.

Brisbane teenager Lydia Jahnke had just scaled Queensland’s Mount Mee when she posed for a photo, arms outstretched, celebrating the successful hike.

She was wearing clothing by one of her favourite fitness wear brands, Australian label Lorna Jane, when her friend took the inspirational photo in July 2014.

The original image. (Photo: Instagram/lydiakate)

Jahnke, 19, was thrilled when Lorna Jane reposted her photo on Instagram; she’d always looked up to the founder of the eponymous company, and had even met the real-life Jorna Jane once.

But several months after the Aussie teenager’s mountain hike, the story took an unusual turn.

A friend tagged Ms Jahnke in a Facebook post showing a new line of clothing by the fitness giant — and on a range of its t-shirts, she recognised a print of what appeared to be her own mountain-climbing image, the Courier Mail reports.

The garments, sold in-store and online for $59.95, featured the alleged image of Jahnke alongside the words: “The woman on top of the mountain did not fall there.”

The shirt, compared with the original image from Lydia’s Instagram @lydiakate.

Exercise and sports science student Jahnke emailed Lorna Jane telling the company her photo had been used. She asked for one of the shirts and they obliged, according to Fairfax Media.

After contacting a solicitor, Ms Jahnke is now suing the company for breach of copyright. She’s seeking compensation including damages for the normal licence fee and the profit made from the sales, as well as an apology.

The 19-year-old student was an avid fan of the fitness brand. (Photo: LydiaKate/Instagram)

She told The Courier Mail she was “shocked” to see her image on the t-shirts. 


“They said that I knew about the image before production, which was not true… that shirt was on sale for months before I ever found out,” Jahnke told The Courier Mail.

“They’ve built this whole company on empowering women and positivity but they won’t even be honest with me.”

Fairfax Media reports the shirt is no longer available to purchase on the Lorna Jane website.

The active wear brand is yet to comment publicly on the allegations.

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Fairfax reports that while social media has made copyright violations more likely, very few cases go to court.

However, of the cases that go to court, copyright cases against fashion brands are more commonly brought by artists or other fashion brands as opposed to social media users.

A similar image posted online by the Brisbane student. (Photo: Instagram/LydiaKate)

The Lorna Jane brand has been no stranger to controversy this year. As The Glow reports, the popular label made headlines in July after posting a call-out for a size 10 fit model/receptionist role with job requirements like, “Waist: 70-73cm”.

Then in September, the company were sued by former employee Amy Robinson, who alleged she was bullied by her superiors while managing the Brisbane Airport DFO outlet in 2012.

The 39-year-old mother, who wears a size 14, claims her colleagues repeatedly harassed her about her weight.