Model Hailey Rhode Bieber, formerly Hailey Rhode Baldwin before her marriage to Justin Bieber, has always been admired for her flawless skin as well as her constant “clean-girl” appearance. While a plethora of celebrities has been known to release skincare and makeup lines, fans have been anxious for the release of Bieber’s line “Rhode” in hopes that her products will help others achieve her glowy complexion as well. However, only a few days after the drop of her new skincare line, Hailey is being sued by an NYC clothing company over the name “Rhode.”
The company “Rhode NYC” claimed that Bieber approached them four years ago, attempting to buy the trademark to the name, only to be turned down, considering the fashion company has existed under the “Rhode” name for eight years now. Owners Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers claim that Hailey Bieber still adopted the name “Rhode” for her skincare brand, despite knowing that the trademark was already taken. The lawyer now handling this trademark infringement lawsuit said that while ‘Rhode’ is Hailey’s middle name, that is no excuse for blatantly disregarding trademark laws, and continuing to steal the name from this minority co-owned clothing company.
Other celebrities have been accused of using their rich privilege to take names from smaller companies, such as Kim Kardashian who recently came under fire for her skincare line SKKN, seemingly identical to a black-owned company called SKN. Owners of the clothing company “Rhode NYC” have emphasized that the last thing that they want to do is put down other female entrepreneurs like Hailey Bieber, but it is difficult to see the silver-lining when Bieber is a massive celebrity who could have seemingly chosen any name. Hailey’s use of the same name as Khatau and Vickers’s brand naturally causes harm to their company, creating a confusion between the two brands as well as clouding all hashtags, posts, and searches for their company “Rhode” with Hailey’s company “Rhode.”
One can hope that Hailey Bieber will change her mind about her company’s name before the lawsuit continues on so that skincare aficionados can enjoy her dewy-skin products knowing that the owner respects the rights of other female-owned companies.