Hailey Bieber Hit With Lawsuit After Launching New Skincare Line

Hailey Bieber only recently launched her skincare line, Rhode, but it's already getting her into legal trouble. PEOPLE reported that Bieber has been sued for trademark infringement by the 9-year-old fashion company RHODE. The founders of the clothing brand, Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, filed the lawsuit against Bieber on Tuesday, about a week after the skincare line dropped. Bieber's brand, released in mid-June, was named after her own middle name.

Khatau stated in the filing that she and Vickers launched RHODE in 2013 and that they have "dedicated ourselves to growing and nurturing the RHODE brand through much personal sacrifice and hardship." The clothing brand has been featured in high-profile retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Additionally, celebrities such as Beyonce and Rihanna have worn RHODE. Khatau and Vickers currently hold the RHODE trademark regarding clothing items and accessories. They're in the midst of potentially expanding the brand to cover makeup and skincare.

"We have real concerns about the future," Khatau stated. "We put blood, sweat, and tears into this brand for years ... It is disappointing to me that an entrepreneurial woman, whom we've long been fans of, is trying to stifle what we have built." Vickers also mentioned in the filing that Bieber addressed the possibility of her Rhode line expanding beyond skincare. The model was asked by a fan on social media whether she wanted Rhode to be a lifestyle brand, to which Bieber allegedly replied, "Clothes will come :)."

Khatau and Vickers are particularly worried about the future of their own brand, as they have claimed that Bieber's new business has already sparked confusion amongst consumers. They stated in their filing, "Unfortunately, that Hailey is currently focusing on skin care while we focus on fashion has not been preventing brand confusion, and it won't in the future. We're both part of a larger beauty market in which fashion and cosmetics closely overlap and often collaborate."

The RHODE founders have also expressed their concern about Bieber's brand getting the "@rhode" handle on Instagram. They claimed that the social media site promised them the handle since it was "dormant per Instagram policy." However, they alleged that Instagram subsequently reversed its course and "decided to allow Ms. Bieber to use it even though it had no posts until June 8, 2022." PEOPLE did reach out to Rhode and a representative for Bieber for comment, but they did not hear back by the time of the article's publication. 

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Lisa T. Simpson, the lawyer for Khatau and Vickers, did release a statement about the situation. "We, of course, understand that Hailey wants to use her middle name for her brand, but the law on this is clear: you can't create this kind of brand confusion just because you want to use your name," Simpson said. "What Ms. Bieber is doing is harming a minority co-owned business that two women have painstakingly built into a growing, global brand."