Taylor Swift Rebrands 'Folklore' Merch After Another Designer Says She Ripped Off Logo
What is a Taylor Swift album release without a little bit of controversy, eh?
This time, the problem stems from the “Folklore” cardigan and other items in the collection that we wrote about the other day. It turns the logo on the "Folklore" merch was very similar to another designer's logo of the same name.
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This morning, it came to my attention that musician #TaylorSwift is selling merchandise to go along with her new album ‘Folklore’. She is currently selling merchandise with the words "The Folklore" printed on them. Based on the similarities of the design, I believe the designer of the merch ripped off my company's logo. I am sharing my story to bring light to the trend of large companies/celebrities copying the work of small minority-owned business owners. I am not going to let this blatant theft go unchecked. Please tag @diet_prada and @thefashionlaw under the post and share this on Twitter and IGz #TheRealFolklore #TheFolklore Original logo designed by @cainecasket
A post shared by Amira Rasool (@amirarasool) on
That’s Amira Rasool, founder and CEO of e-commerce apparel seller The Folklore, and from a quick look at her item compared to Taylor’s, she has a right to be upset. Sure, it could be coincidence and two people who recognize that the vertically-formatted “The” looks good next to the word “Folklore." But the similarities are striking.
“It’s just very hard to believe that [Swift’s team] didn't come across it,” Rasool told In Style. “And if they did come across it—which I believe they did—for them to model Taylor’s merchandise on our logo, especially having seen what our company is about, is especially disheartening to me.”
The Folklore works with artists and designers showcasing “the diversity of Africa’s contemporary urban landscapes and design aesthetic,” and sells wholesale to African brands looking to gain a foothold in the international market.
To her credit, Swift immediately agreed to rebrand the merchandise. At her online store, the items are still available, but the logos now read "Folklore Album" without the word "The" in front. Swift also offered to make a contribution to the Black in Fashion Council.
Amira, I admire the work you’re doing and I’m happy to make a contribution to your company and to support the Black in Fashion Council (launching on 8/3) with a donation 💗@thefolklore @amirarasool @bifcglobal #blackinfashioncouncil
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) July 30, 2020
Had Swift’s team not acted, uh, swiftly, they could’ve faced legal action from Rasool, who owns the trademark for “The Folklore” on clothing. That’s going to make it increasingly difficult for Swift to manufacture merchandise in the future. But, if we go back and look at the original cardigan, you’ll notice that hers says “The Folklore Album,” which could differentiate it enough to protect from legal action.
“Clearly Taylor didn’t find The Folklore and make this sketch,” Rasool told In Style. “But at the end of the day, Taylor is the one who’s profiting off of it. This is her team. So it’s up to her to make it right.”
Thankfully, Swift's team rectified it immediately, but it could have been a much bigger PR mess than it was. It appears the situation has been pretty much resolved:
I commend Taylor’s team for recognizing the damage the merchandise caused to my company @TheFolklore’s brand. I recognize that she has been a strong advocate for women protecting their creative rights, so it was good to see her team is on the same page. https://t.co/8KR5IaYkIs
— Amira Rasool (@AmiraRasool) July 28, 2020
As for all the merch that already shipped (like the cardigans Swift sent out to celebrities and influencers), those are now destined to become collector's items.