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Why Two Content Creators Are Suing Hailey Bieber And Her Brand New Skincare Brand

Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, who own Rhode, a clothing brand, are suing Bieber over trademark infringement

Earlier this month, Hailey Bieber launched her highly anticipated skincare line, Rhode. After just a week of its launch, the model has been sued by content creators, Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, who own another fashion label, also named Rhode.

Khatau and Vickers filed their lawsuit with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Tuesday, according to documents obtained by international magazine, People.

Lawyer Lisa Simpson, who is representing the Khatau and Vickers, said in a statement, “Ms Bieber launched a beauty skin-care line using the same exact brand as Rhode. She did this despite knowing of Rhode and its prior rights. Ms. Bieber tried to buy the RHODE mark from Rhode four years ago.” The statement continued, “This is a textbook case of reverse confusion, in which a massive junior trademark user threatens to trample a smaller senior user’s market.”

The two also shared a statement from the official Instagram handle of their brand. “Nine years ago, we quit our jobs and founded Rhode out of our apartment, creating a fashion company from nothing. We’re two women entrepreneurs who met in college, built the RHODE brand, and put years of hard work into our minority co-owned company. Today, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her new skin-care line that launched last week and that is using the brand ‘rhode.’ We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business,” they said.

They plaintiffs added that they wish to “celebrate” Bieber, as fellow female entrepreneurs, and that they admire her work. A part of the statement read, “Hailey could choose any brand for her skin-care line. We have only the brand name “RHODE” that we’ve built. That’s why we didn’t sell her our brand when she asked four years ago, and why we ask her now to change her skin-care line’s brand. Her using our brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers, and our partners.”

Khatau and Vickers’ Rhode is considered a reputable brand sold in luxury stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, and worn by celebrities like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Mindy Kaling. 

Featured Image Credits: Rhode’s Instagram