Rihanna has won a court case against Topshop over the use of her image on a T-shirt used without her permission.

The singer claimed the white sleeveless T-shirt, which featured a photograph of her, may have damaged her image as fans could have thought it was genuine merchandise that she had endorsed.

The retailer had disputed her claim but Mr Justice Birss today ruled in favour of the pop singer. He said that a “substantial number” of shoppers were likely to have bought the T-shirt because of a “false belief” that it had been approved by the singer.

Damages will be decided at a later date.

In a statement Topshop, which said it was considering appealing the decision, said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the judgment.

“We feel that the fact that Rihanna has shopped, worn and had a relationship with Topshop for several years appears to have been detrimental to our case.”

It added: “There was no intention by Topshop to create the appearance of an endorsement or promotion; indeed this tank was one piece of jersey in a heavily stocked and wide-ranging t-shirt department, and we do not believe it conveyed any false message to our customers.”

Topshop said it felt comfortable selling the garment after it received “full indemnity” from the supplier of the T-shirt, Knitmania, and the view that “selling a product with an image of a famous star, such as Rihanna, is simply providing a fashion item”.

The retailer also said that T-shirts featuring photographic images of celebrities, including Rihanna, were “on sale on every UK high street”.

The singer has her own fashion range at River Island. Her first collection for the fashion retailer went on sale earlier this year.