Despite a smooth and clue-filled rollout for Taylor Swift’s surprise new album, Folklore, last week, the songstress is now facing criticism from a Black-owned fashion brand about one too many merchandise similarities. Per CNN, the owner of contemporary online retailer The Folklore, Amira Rasool, accused Swift of ripping off the company’s logo for her original Folklore sweater, cardigan, and t-shirt designs. The Folklore, which curates upscale brands from Africa and the diaspora, has been in business for several years. “Based on the similarities of the design, I believe the designer of the merch ripped off my company’s logo,” Rasool wrote on Instagram on July 24. “I am sharing my story to bring light to the trend of large companies and celebrities copying the work of small minority-owned business owners. I am not going to let this blatant theft go unchecked.” Initially, Swift’s designs featured the words “The Folklore” as opposed to a singular “Folklore,” which is the album name.
As of July 28, the products in question were no longer being sold on Swift’s website. “Folklore Album” has since replaced “The Folklore Album” on all merchandise. The same day, Rasool wrote on Twitter that Swift’s team has been cooperative and their lawyers are working on a final solution. “I commend her team for recognizing the damage it caused our brand. I recognize that Taylor has been a strong advocate for women protecting their creative rights, so it was good to see her team is on the same page,” Rasool wrote, adding to WWD, “I think there’s a larger conversation that needs to be had. It’s not just damaging to one Black woman, it’s all the brands that we work with.” She also noted how Swift’s fans have been “calling me a bitch and a liar” on social media and spamming her business pages.
As for Swift, she tweeted directly at Rasool on July 30, pledging a contribution to The Folklore and “to support the Black in Fashion Council.”