Despite a fluid and clue-filled rollout for Taylor Swift’s new surprise album, Folklore, Last week, the singer is now facing criticism from a black-owned fashion brand over too many product similarities. By CNN, owner of contemporary online retailer The Folklore, Amira Rasool, accused Swift of tearing up the company’s logo for its original Folklore designs for sweaters, cardigans and t-shirts. Folklore, which brings together high-end brands from Africa and the Diaspora, has been in business for several years. “Based on the similarities in the design, I think the product designer tore off my company logo,” Rasool wrote on Instagram on July 24. “I’m sharing my story to highlight the tendency for big business and celebrities to copy the work of minority small business owners. I will not let this blatant theft escape. Initially, Swift’s creations featured the words “The Folklore” as opposed to a singular “Folklore,” which is the name of the album.
As of July 28, the products in question were no longer sold on the Swift website. “Folklore Album” has since replaced “The Folklore Album” on all merchandise. On the same day, Rasool wrote on Twitter that the Swift team were cooperative and their lawyers were working on a final solution. “I congratulate her team for recognizing the damage they have done to 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 on the same page, ”Rasool wrote, adding to WWD, “I think we need to have a broader conversation. It’s not just damaging for a black woman, it’s all the brands we work with. She also noted how Swift fans have “called me a bitch and a liar” on social media and spamming her professional pages.
As for Swift, she tweeted directly to Rasool on July 30, pledging a contribution to Folklore and “to support the Black in Fashion Council”.