• Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, co-founders of Rhode NYC, are suing Hailey Bieber for trademark infringement
  • They filed the lawsuit after Bieber launched her new skincare line Rhode earlier this month
  • The designers claimed that the model attempted to acquire the Rhode trademark from them, but they declined

Hailey Bieber has been sued for trademark infringement over the name of her new skincare line, Rhode.

According to court documents obtained by E! News Wednesday, a fashion company founded in 2013 that has the same name as the 25-year-old model's skincare brand is suing Bieber for creating market confusion by launching and marketing her skincare line under the name Rhode, which is also the "Drop the Mic" host's middle name.

Purna Khatau and Phoebe Vickers, founders of Rhode NYC, a women’s apparel label that has been worn by stars such as Beyoncé, Tracee Ellis Ross and Lupita Nyong'o, claimed in the documents that Bieber’s beauty brand will limit their success.

"There is no doubt that Ms. Bieber and her companies know of Rhode's superior rights," they said in their filing.

The lawsuit alleged that Bieber, "appreciating that the brands could not co-exist without confusion," previously tried to acquire the Rhode trademark from Khatau and Vickers, but they refused.

"But Ms. Bieber, who could surely leverage her fame into success with a different-branded beauty line, apparently does not care that two other women entrepreneurs have been using the Rhode brand name for years," the documents stated.

In the lawsuit, Khatau and Vickers also cited that the model "blared out" her brand's promotion to her millions of followers on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. The fashion entrepreneurs said they are worried that what Bieber did "will quickly swamp Rhode's market presence, confuse the marketplace and ultimately destroy the goodwill and reputation of the Rhode brand."

Aside from taking legal action against Bieber, Khatau and Vickers released a statement via their brand's official Instagram account. The design duo shared that they started their fashion line Rhode out of their apartment nine years ago after quitting their jobs.

"We're two women entrepreneurs who met in college, built the Rhode brand, and put years of hard work into our minority co-owned company," they said. "Today, we were forced to file a lawsuit against Hailey Bieber and her new skin-care line that launched last week and that is using the brand ‘rhode.' We didn't want to file this lawsuit, but we had to in order to protect our business."

Khatau and Vickers clarified that they admired Bieber for her hard work and ability to create her own skincare products and wanted to celebrate her as a fellow woman entrepreneur. However, the pair said that they only have one brand name, and Bieber could have chosen a different one for her own products.

The businesswomen claimed that Bieber attempted to buy "the rights to our brand" four years ago, but they declined.

"Her using our brand is hurting our company, our employees, our customers and our partners," they alleged.

Tori Mellott, former editor at Traditional Home and Elle Decor and current style director at Frederic Magazine, commented on the post, sharing that her first reaction to Bieber's product launch was, "There is already a Rhode!"

"I also like Hailey and agree about supporting other women! But I fully support you (and you’ll always be the only Rhode in my book!)," Mellott told Khatau and Vickers.

Bieber launched her beauty brand on June 15, offering a selection of vegan, cruelty-free products wrapped in minimalist packaging.

The model continues to promote her skincare line on Instagram. She recently shared a message from a happy customer who said they were satisfied with her products as well as clips showing her products' packaging where the brand name "Rhode" is visible.

Hailey Baldwin
Hailey Baldwin attends McDonald's Celebrates Music's Hottest Night With The Chainsmokers at The Bowery Hotel in New York City, Jan. 26, 2018. Sean Zanni/Getty Images