A Brooklyn artist and model claims he was shafted by the trendy fashion brand Kith — alleging the NYC company profited from using his likeness without consent or compensation, according to a new lawsuit.

Darryl McPherson, 35, says he was shocked last year when he discovered his face plastered all over Kith’s Black History Month brand campaign, including on apparel, limited-edition shopping bags, promotional materials and social media posts.

A sweatshirt featuring McPherson’s likeness retailed for $195, while a “gallery tee” cost $65.

He is now seeking $500,000 in damages from the street-style brand, described on its website as a “progressive retail establishment” that “push[es] the boundaries.”

Kith has sold collaborations with stars like LeBron James, been worn by such celebrities as Justin Bieber, and featured Jerry Seinfeld and “Succession” actor Brian Cox in its ad campaigns.

But the court documents claim McPherson was “commercially exploited” and cut out of any such collaboration.

He told The Post that he was so “humiliated” by fellow New Yorkers asking him about the Kith shirts that he fled his hometown and moved to North Carolina: “This whole experience, I didn’t want to go through all of this.”

McPherson found stardom in 2018 after the annual Afropunk music festival, when a picture of him — wearing a canary yellow durag with rhinestones and a cape-like train — appeared in the New York Times, shot by freelance photographer Melissa Bunni Elian.

Artist Samuel Olayombo then painted a rendition of that photo, changing the durag from yellow to pink, in 2022 and allegedly without McPherson’s knowledge, according to the suit filed in Kings County Supreme Court.

Olayombo then allegedly licensed his artwork to Kith.

“It is profoundly ironic that Kith profited from the unauthorized, nonconsensual and uncompensated use of a black man’s portrait, image and likeness for a Black History Month commercial campaign,” McPherson’s lawyer, Alessandra Messing told The Post.

While the initial photo was “a joyous and transcendent experience” for McPherson, according to the lawsuit, Kith allegedly appropriating his image “mortified” him and became “a source of extreme stress and anxiety.”

Messing explained that McPherson was “repeatedly forced to disclose to friends, acquaintances and well-wishers that he had [no] connection … and that this was not a major success for him.”

According to an exhibit attached to the lawsuit, McPherson’s lawyers reached out to Kith “to discuss an amicable, fair and ideally, mutually beneficial resolution to this unfortunate situation.”

The document adds that McPherson was willing to consider “creative solutions that would allow Kith to benefit from [his] artistic capabilities as a designer, stylist, photographer and filmmaker” but was allegedly rebuffed by the fashion brand.

Kith, which currently sells $1,795 suede coats, “doubled down,” according to the suit — accusing McPherson of “only wanting publicity,” and claiming the company has “helped many Black people” through its three previous Black History Month campaigns.

Court documents also allege that a legal representative for Kith threatened that if McPherson were to pursue press or initiate litigation, it would “not end well.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Kith told The Post that artist Olayombo attested that he had reproduced McPherson’s image “rightfully and legally.”

“Instead of taking responsibility and doing the right thing, they blame another black creative [Olayombo] who they collaborated with,” Messing told The Post. “It’s not enough — you can’t not do your homework, especially as a highly sophisticated, multimillion-dollar brand that had the resources and opportunity to make sure they weren’t violating anyone’s rights. They should have known better.”

The Post has reached out to Olayombo for comment. 

The Kith spokesperson also said that the brand “offered reasonable compensation” to McPherson to “remedy” the situation.

According to Messing, the company first offered $8,000, then $10,000.

“They made a lowball offer intended to make us go away, as if the claims don’t have any legal basis, which Darryl found hurtful and insulting,” Messing said. 

Speaking to The Post from his home in North Carolina, where he now works as a care coordinator, McPherson said the experience made him “want to stand up for myself,” he said. “I’ve been trying to stand up for myself for a long time. Sometimes you want to do right.”

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