Taylor Swift made supporters a lot happy with the surprise release of her eighth studio album last week. With the fall came a new video, new CDs and vinyl, and tons of merchandise. Again, exciting stuff for the fans. But one of those items was called by a black retailer for its design.
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Swift released a surprise album on July 24th
Swift announced on her social media on July 23 that, in less than 24 hours, she would be dropping her next album. It’s been a little over a year since her last album, which is earlier than anyone expected another full-length album from the artist. Plus, folklore (the album) is not the kind of music Swift has made in recent years.
So overall, it was a great gift for Swift fans. Between the meaningful lyrics and the gorgeous new video for “Cardigan,” she gave a lot. However, the design for the cardigan seen in the video – and which Swift was selling – was a little too similar to another design that already existed.
A black retailer called for a similar Swift design
Amira Rasool, founder and CEO of fashion retailer The Folklore, shared on Instagram that Swift’s design “rapped off” her company logo. The issue was that Swift’s logo on the cardigan said “the folklore album,” and it matched The Folklore’s logo. The way the word “the” was placed was very similar to The Folklore.
“Based on the similarity of the design, I believe the Merch designer draped my company logo,” Rasool shared on Instagram. “I’m sharing my story to introduce the trend of big companies / celebrities copying the work of minority small business owners. I’m not going to let this blatant theft go unchanged.”
Rasool told InStyle that she was “shocked” at first, but had seen stories of large corporations taking designs or “removing” particularly smaller owned businesses. “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me,” she said.
While sharing that she finds it “hard to believe” that Swift’s team didn’t see The Folklore and its design on Google, she doesn’t blame the singer clearly.
“Clearly Taylor didn’t find The Folklore and made this sketch,” Rasool said. “But in the end, Taylor is what she’s enjoying. This is her team. So it’s up to her to do it right.”
Swift’s team sent a statement confirming that it is changing the goods
After Rasool posted that on July 24, when the album dropped, Swift’s team did not amend the issue. E! The news reported on July 29 that Swift’s representatives shared a statement that they would change the logo so that it would no longer be broken on the actual design of The Folklore.
“Yesterday, we were aware of a complaint that the specific use of the word ‘before’ the folk album ‘on some of the merchandise with the folklore album was a concern,’ the statement said.” Absolutely the – no goods used ‘before the words’ folk album’ have been manufactured or shipped. “
He went on to note that they notified those who ordered the cardigan, or any other merchandise that may have had this design, of the change.
“I commend her team for acknowledging the damage it has caused to our brand,” Rasool said in a statement to InStyle. “I acknowledge that Taylor was a strong advocate for women protecting their creative rights, so it was good to see that her team is on the same page. It was a great first step and we are in conversation right now with Taylor’s team on the next steps to make this a good situation. “
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