Hailey Bieber's Rhode skincare line, which launched exactly one week ago, is already in hot water! A high fashion clothing brand, operating under the same name, filed a lawsuit against the skincare brand on Tuesday.
The clothing brand "RHODE" was founded by two college students, Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, in 2013. Nine years later, the brand has reached a massive level of success in the industry, with big names including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Tracee Ellis Ross wearing items from their line.
With the launch of Bieber's skincare line, Vickers and Khatau said that they've already seen "confusion in the marketplace" with the brands having the same name. According to the founders, when people go to tag the clothing brand on Instagram, they tag Bieber's skincare account instead, hurting their business.
According to PEOPLE, in the lawsuit, the two claim that Instagram originally promised that the username "rhode" would be given to them to use on the platform since it was "dormant."
"After initially promising it to us, Instagram decided to allow Ms. Bieber to use it even though it had no posts until June 8, 2022," they alleged.
On Instagram, @rhode, which is Bieber's skincare account and middle name, has gained over 400,000 followers and is currently verified. The model's husband, Justin Bieber, has also promoted the line to his 243 million followers. @shoprhode, which is the clothing line's handle, has 193,000 followers and isn't verified.
In the lawsuit, Khatau says,
"We have real concerns about the future. We put blood, sweat, and tears into this brand for years ... It is disappointing to me that an entrepreneurial woman, whom we've long been fans of, is trying to stifle what we have built."
The co-owners also allege that four years ago, the model approached them about buying the rights to the name, and they passed on the offer. Their lawyer, Lisa T. Simpson, released a statement to the press about the lawsuit, acknowledging that they understand why Bieber would go for the name Rhode, saying,
"We, of course, understand that Hailey wants to use her middle name for her brand, but the law on this is clear: you can't create this kind of brand confusion just because you want to use your name."
Earlier today, someone working with Hailey's skincare brand told TMZ:
"She owns the trademark for skincare, and the other Rhode holds the trademark for clothing."
In a statement shared to their official Instagram, 'shoprhode' stated:
"We’re confident in the lawsuit’s outcome, but we hope Hailey will now understand the harm we’re sure she never meant to cause and change her skin-care line’s brand. Thank you to everyone for valuing our vision and supporting us."
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