On Thursday, Adore Me filed a complaint in a California federal court against Rihanna’s innerwear brand, which is co-owned by TechStyle Fashion Group, the fashion firm that also houses the Kate Hudson’s Fabletics and JustFab brands in the greater portfolio. TechStyle is based in El Segundo, Calif.
In the complaint, Adore Me said Savage x Fenty’s use of similar terms is not only confusing, but a “blatant and willful trading upon Adore Me’s goodwill and infringing Adore Me’s intellectual property.”
“Savage has advertised its own goods and services using ‘Adore Us,’ which is confusingly similar to ‘Adore Me,’ by prominently displaying the mark in sponsored ads on search engines, such as Google, for its own line of lingerie,” the complaint reads. “Contrary to what such advertising suggests, Savage’s clothing products and retail services are not authorized by, sponsored by or affiliated with Adore Me.”
Adore Me went on to say in the complaint that the company sent Savage x Fenty a cease and desist letter on June 4, but did not get a response. Adore Me is now asking for a jury trial and for a judge to rule that Savage x Fenty remove “Adore Us” from any marketing messages, as well as pay for damages and court fees.
“We find these kind of practices incredibly troubling as they misdirect customers who are specifically looking for the Adore Me brand, which we’ve spent nearly a decade building,” Adore Me said in a separate statement. “More importantly, they reflect the various ways companies like us have to proactively police large technology platforms to manage our own reputations and protect customers. Some companies will always pursue this kind of problematic advertising and we believe advertising platforms should build checks to better help businesses like us that utilize them.”
Savage x Fenty, which Rihanna launched in 2018, did not respond to requests for comment.
This is not the first time in 2021 that Adore Me has been caught up in controversy with another company. In February, the lingerie brand said TikTok frequently removes brand posts that feature women of color and women considered to be plus-size. Adore Me is still currently on TikTok.
Rihanna has also had other legal issues with the Savage x Fenty brand. In early 2020, the business was accused of deceptive marketing. In February 2020, watchdog group Truth In Advertising claimed the lingerie brand was locking customers into a monthly service fee — one that resulted in hundreds of dollars in charges a year and was difficult to opt out of.
It’s also not the first time two lingerie brands have invested in similar names. In late 2018, Victoria’s Secret filed for trademark rights of the phrase “First Love,” playing off the success of San Francisco-based lingerie and loungewear brand ThirdLove. Victoria’s Secret, however, has not launched a “First Love” brand.