Looks like some legal trouble has crept up on Kim Kardashian and it couldn’t have come at the worst time.
Back in July Kim announced that she would be giving her famed KKW Beauty brand a much-needed facelift. The beauty mogul and reality TV star took to Twitter on July 6 to reveal plans of rebranding KKW Beauty under a completely new look and name.
“It all started with a contour kit and expanded to eyes, lips, body, and many incredible collections over the past four years,” she wrote in a statement.
“I’m excited to continue to develop and expand my product range and for you to finally be able to experience it the way that I have always envisioned.”
KKW officially shut down on August 1 and now the beauty mogul has moved forward with her legal team to file a new trademark that will begin the start of her burgeoning venture under “SKKN” and “SKKN By Kim.”
However, a company called Beauty Concepts LLC says they already own the moniker for their salon, skincare, and spa services. The owner Cydnie Lunsford, who is a 28-year-old Black aesthetician, slammed the star with a cease and desist letter stating that she’s been operating under the name SKKN+ since 2018.
“Over the course of four years, Beauty Concepts has built a successful woman- and Black-owned small business and brand, established a strong social media presence, and served thousands of customers from its Brooklyn location,” Lunsford shared in a statement.
Lunsford further argued that a similar trademark would cause “confusion in the marketplace” as the names are “nearly identical in appearance.”
“I have painstakingly built my successful small business with my own sweat equity, hard work, and research,” she continued.
“It’s clear that I established my brand first.”
According to Buzz Feed News, Lunsford established SKKN+ in 2018 in Washinton DC before relocating the business to Brooklyn.
Lunsford said that she and her team officially applied to trademark SKKN+ on March 28– two days before Kardashian filed for the trademark on March 30. Her attorney Erik M. Pelton shared that it was hard to believe that the SKIMS founder and her legal team did not know about the prior use of the name “or knew and adopted the SKKN brand name anyways to steamroll a small minority business.”
The 40-year-old entrepreneur’s attorney Michael G. Rhodes shared a statement to TMZ stating:
“We certainly appreciate and support small businesses, and our hat is off to Ms. Lunsford. But the question at hand is one of trademark law and we’ve not done anything deserving of legal action by her.”
He added, “We are disappointed that she has chosen to run to the media knowing that we were scheduling a call for tomorrow, requested by her attorney. So while disagreeing with the letter, we’re hopeful that we can smooth things over once both sides speak.”
Kardashian launched KKW beauty back in 2017 and sold 20 percent of the company to beauty giant Coty for $200 million. The deal was officially finalized this year despite the partnership being announced back in 2019.
According to ET, the deal is set to include a new skincare line that will be released in 2022 in addition to new and existing products— all of which may be revealed sooner than later given the brand’s plan to revamp. Kardashian will remain the sole visionary behind the company during this time while Coty is expected to focus on product development.
What do you think about this case?