The singer released her eighth studio album last week and simultaneously announced that fans could also buy apparel to accompany the new record, with her official store offering sweatshirts and knitwear which featured a label reading “The Folklore”.
Businesswoman Amira Rasool, who owns African apparel and accessories label The Folklore, claimed Swift was causing confusion in the marketplace with her new merchandise as it had the same name as her business as well as a similar logo.
“I was so surprised and so shocked and it was really devastating. I saw it happen to small Black business owners, and I was really sad,” she told WWD. “It’s not just damaging to one Black woman, it’s all the brands that we work with.”
The New York-based online platform features work from more than 30 local artisans based in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, and Cote D’Ivoire.
Her lawyers reached out to the Shake It Off hitmaker’s team and requested that the singer change the name on her merchandise and the logo.
Rasool told the outlet that Swift’s team responded immediately and agreed to remove the word “The” on all the merchandise. These changes have already taken effect on Swift’s online store and now each item of clothing bears the label “Folklore album”.
Rasool confirmed she’s taking steps with her legal team to decide what happens in the future.
“Right now I’m leaving that up to the lawyers. I commend them for removing that, but I think there’s a larger conversation that needs to be had,” she shared, as she revealed that Swift’s fans had targeted her on social media. “I think there was a lot of damage to my brand for me speaking out. I don’t think I deserved that.”