A week after launch, Hailey Bieber’s new beauty venture is under controversy.
The model, who debuted her beauty brand Rhode on June 15, is being sued for trademark infringement by Rhode, a Los Angeles-based contemporary apparel brand that focuses on vivid dresses and tops in Made in India prints that are sold at Net-a-porter, Saks and other retail accounts, and originally launched in 2014. The brand stated it has dressed celebrities such as Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross and Hilary Duff over the years, and that it is minority co-owned.
The Rhode fashion brand’s cofounders, Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, released a statement on Tuesday in addition to filing the lawsuit through their legal counsel, Lisa Simpson, stating in part: “Today, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her skin-care line that launched last week and that is using the brand name ‘Rhode.’ We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business. While a global brand, we are still a young and growing company, and we cannot overcome a celebrity with Hailey’s following using our company’s name to sell related products.”
The statement goes on to read that even though Bieber’s brand is focused on beauty and the founders’ brand offers fashion, they still expect brand confusion from customers.
“Unfortunately, that Hailey is currently focusing on skin care while we focus on fashion has not been preventing brand confusion, and it won’t in the future,” the statement reads. “We’re both part of a larger beauty market in which fashion and cosmetics closely overlap and often collaborate. Hailey has stated that she wants to pursue a clothing line, and she even applied for ‘Rhode’ as a trademark for clothing. We welcome competition — we just don’t want competitors using our name.”
Bieber’s Rhode beauty brand has been years in the making, and ultimately launched last week with five products including a serum, moisturizer and three lip balms.
“My philosophy for the brand, and the ethos for me, is to make one of everything really good — it’s those staple products you keep going back to. It’s also my philosophy when it comes to curating my wardrobe: the perfect pair of jeans, that one really good T,” Bieber told WWD.
Bieber named the brand after her own middle name. Rhode did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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