- Hailey Bieber’s skin care line Rhode is being sued for trademark infringement by a fashion brand.
- Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, co-founders of fashion company Rhode, filed legal action on Tuesday.
- His legal representative says Bieber tried to acquire the trademark in 2018, but Khatau and Vickers refused.
Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) is being sued for trademark infringement over her new skin care brand, Rhode.
A fashion label of the same name as Bieber’s skin care line filed a legal memo on Tuesday as it seeks an injunction against the 25-year-old model.
The document obtained by Insider and filed on behalf of Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, co-founders of the fashion company, claims that Bieber’s branding distracts from his business and creates “consumer confusion.” The fashion brand’s lawsuit is asking Bieber’s company to stop using the Rhode name to avoid “irreparable damage” to its business.
Representatives for Bieber and his skin care brand Rhode did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Rhode, the fashion brand, launched in 2013, sells colorful dresses and loungewear. The company has become popular with celebrities such as Mindy Kaling and Lupita Nyong’o, according to the legal memo. Khatau and Vickers took the company from $100,000 in sales during its first year to $14.5 million in projected sales for 2022, according to the same document. Bieber’s skin care brand launched this year on June 15 and is named after his middle name, Rhode.
“Without the intervention of the law, there is no suspense in how these colliding stories end: the RHODE brand built by Khatau and Vickers is swamped, washed away by a famous star who doesn’t much care what name she prefers for her beauty products. is already being used by two other women entrepreneurs,” the memo reads.
“Bieber’s immense name recognition, media presence and following will surpass the goodwill and reputation that the founders of Rhode worked so hard to generate,” he continues, adding that “confusion is already rampant” on social media. According to the memo, some social media users confused the fashion brand with Bieber’s skincare line and tagged the wrong Instagram accounts — using Bieber’s company @rhode instead of the fashion brand’s @shoprhode – in the posts. The memo adds that prior to the release of Bieber’s Rhode, social media platforms prioritized the skincare brand by granting it the verified @rhode identifier, which Khatau and Vickers believe will be favored by social media algorithms.
The document also references Bieber’s status as one of the “most recognizable young celebrities on the planet” and points to his 45 million Instagram followers. It adds that in addition to skin care products, “Bieber has indicated that ‘rhode’ brand clothing is next, and his fans are already talking about it on social media.”
In a statement shared by fashion brand Rhode on Instagram on Tuesday, Khatau and Vickers said they were “forced” to take legal action against the model.
Khatau and Vickers’ statement read: “Nine years ago, we quit our jobs and founded Rhode from our apartment, creating a fashion company from scratch. We are two female entrepreneurs who met in college, built the RHODE brand and put years of work hard on our co-owned minority company.”
“We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to do so to protect our business,” the statement continued, adding that they feel “confident” about the outcome of the lawsuit and hope Bieber “understands the damage we’ve done.” I’m sure she never meant to.”
The fashion brand’s legal representatives told Insider in a statement that Bieber tried to acquire Rhode’s trademark in 2018 and said that when design partners turned down his request, the model went ahead with launching the beauty brand.
“We, of course, understand that Hailey wants to use her middle name for her brand, but the law on that is clear: you can’t create this kind of branding confusion just because you want to use your name,” said Lisa T. Simpson , the fashion brand’s lead litigation attorney, said in the statement.
“What Ms. Bieber is doing is undermining a minority company that two women painstakingly built into a growing global brand,” added Simpson.