Entrepreneur Purna Khatau Takes Hailey Bieber To Court

South Asian Businesswoman Purna Khatau Is Taking Hailey Bieber To Court

Purna Khatau, co-founder of Rhode Clothing, and her partner Phoebe Vickers have filed a lawsuit against model Hailey Bieber for trademark infringement.

Rhode Clothing is nearly a decade-old company that began in 2014, started by two former classmates Khatau and Vickers. The brand has seen steady growth, even featuring in Vogue and donned by celebrities like Beyonce, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna. They want to preserve the brand trademark and avoid any confusion among customers.


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A post shared by RHODE (@shoprhode)

As Hailey Bieber introduced her skincare line on June 15th the South Asian businesswoman and her partner filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court and asked Bieber to stop selling or marketing any products under the name Rhode. On the day of the launch, Bieber revealed that she learned a lot about skincare from her mom and that she chose the name ‘Rhode’ because it was her middle name. Meanwhile, the founders of the clothing brand have named the brand after a sea nymph in Greek mythology.

South Asian Businesswoman Purna Khatau Is Taking Hailey Bieber To Court
Image Source: Twitter via @Bubblygummyx

The founders of Rhode Clothing, Purna Khatau, and Phoebe Vickers also mentioned in the lawsuit, that the model even tried to purchase their trademark four years ago. They had rejected the offer. So it is obvious that Hailey Bieber had complete knowledge that the trademark was held by a minority-owned company.

In the filing, Purna Khatau states that she and her roommate launched Rhode with a lot of personal sacrifice and hardships in May 2013. Sold in luxury stores, they are expected to make USD 14.5 million this year. The brand along with fashion apparel is has also entered the home decor space.


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A post shared by rhode skin (@rhode)

Hailey has over 45 million followers on Instagram and her husband Justin Bieber also promoted her brand on his Instagram, generating 1.5 million likes with a single post. On the other hand, Rhode has close to 200K followers. The founders aim to protect their business. The pair claims with Rhode skincare’s marketing swamped by both the popular model and singer will eventually destroy the goodwill and reputation of Rhode Clothing brand.

By using the same name, Hailey Bieber is hurting a minority co-owned business that two women have painstakingly built. The onus is now on the courts to make sure justice is served.

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