That letter, made ubiquitous by the Kardashians, who have stamped it on everything from their Kardashian Kollection with Sears to their K-Dash stores, distinguishes Khroma, the cosmetics line by sisters Kourtney, Kim and Khloé Kardashian launching this winter at Ulta, from Chroma, a Beverly Hills makeup studio and brand. But Chroma Makeup Studio owners Michael Rey III and Lisa Casino argue that the letter swap isn’t stopping its customers from thinking Chroma has joined the Kardashian licensing juggernaut.
“We are one block west of Rodeo on Little Santa Monica. Everybody walks by us to get to Sprinkles. We couldn’t be any more visible, and we are disappointed that they would choose a name, regardless of whether there is a ‘C’ or a ‘K,’ that is being used already,” said Rey, adding, “For the two lines to coexist would almost be impossible because there is so much confusion.”
Chroma sent an e-mail letter and posted that letter on its Web site Monday in an attempt to diminish any confusion by informing its customers that it is not associated with the Kardashian’s makeup venture and asserting Chroma will defend its trademark and reputation. Chroma “has a long-standing reputation for high quality colour line cosmetics and services” and “is NOT endorsing low budget cosmetic products that will be sold in mass retail outlets,” read the letter.
In a rebuttal to Chroma Makeup Studio’s letter, Boldface Licensing + Branding, the licensing company creating the Khroma Beauty line, stated that it obtained the rights to use the Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé name in the color cosmetics category by filing “proper legal” documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Boldface also declared that consumers won’t have trouble differentiating Chroma and Khroma, and took issue with Chroma’s characterization of Khroma as “low budget.”
“We do not believe that there is any likelihood of confusion between Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé and any other entity, given that Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé is clearly marketed together with the famous Kardashian brand name and will be sold with singular and distinctive trade dress,” said Boldface chief executive officer Nicole Ostoya. She continued, “We adamantly object to statements about the products’ quality due to the distribution choice and caution others who do so without any basis for such statements.”
Khroma is potentially big business for the Kardashians, and industry sources have estimated it will generate $45 million to $50 million in first-year sales. Chroma pulls in a fraction of that amount, but Rey said it has still lost money due to the similarities between Chroma and Khroma. “We feel it has devalued our line,” he said.
Although Chroma has taken no legal action against Khroma, Rey said Chroma has hired attorney Paul E. Thomas from the law firm Fredrikson & Byron to represent Chroma in court if Chroma ultimately pursues legal remedies. “At this point, it is sort of a wait-and-see situation,” said Rey “If it requires us to file legal action, we will do whatever it takes. Our goal is to resolve this in an amicable way.”
Rey elaborated: “The whole thing would go away if they didn’t have our name. Our first wishes would be to make the problem go away and not have to have this battle because of the name. Basically, that would be our first preference. Realistically, we look at it that they are the Goliath. How do we stop them from using the name? Is it going to be possible? If it is not possible, what does that mean for us? We don’t know. It has already started to hurt us. To come to some sort of amicable solution [is what we want,] what that is we don’t know. We are prepared to do anything we have to do to defend our brand and mark.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia