Just a week after launching the skincare brand Rhode, Hailey Bieber is being sued for trademark infringement by a fashion line of the same name, according to celebrity website TMZ. In the complaint, filed in a court in Manhattan, New York, the clothing company Rhode NYC calls on Bieber – who is the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and wife of singer Justin Bieber – to stop using the Rhode name.
The owners of Rhode NYC, Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, are also calling for compensation, but the amount had not yet been specified. “We didn’t want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business,” the founders wrote in a message on Instagram.
In the message, Khatau and Vickers – who founded Rhode NYC in 2013 – added that Bieber’s use of the name Rhode is “hurting our company, our employees, our customers and our partners.” Bieber has 45 million followers on Instagram, while Rhode NYC has just under 200,000. The model also counts on the support of her husband, Justin Bieber, who has 243 million followers. A single post on Hailey Bieber’s Instagram account can receive more than 1.5 million likes.
In their statement, Khatau and Vickers said that Bieber tried to buy the brand in 2018, but they refused to sell. “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 skincare line’s brand,” they said.
The founders of Rhode NYC added that they “admire” Bieber and “wish her every success,” but must protect their business. “We hope Hailey will now understand the harm we’re sure she never meant to cause and change her skin-care line’s brand,” the message stated.
The lawsuit comes at a difficult time for the Biebers. Justin Bieber has had to postpone his US tour due to facial paralysis. In a video posted on Instagram, the singer explained that he had been diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, a rare medical condition that has paralyzed half his face.