On Friday, Swift surprise-dropped her eighth studio album folklorealongside a line of merch featuring a design that owner Amira Rasool said bore a striking resemblance to the logo for her company, which sells clothing and accessories by African designers.
"This morning, it came to my attention that musician #TaylorSwift is selling merchandise to go along with her new album Folklore. She is currently selling merchandise with the words 'The Folklore' printed on them. Based on the similarities of the design, I believe the designer of the merch ripped off my company's logo," Rasool shared via her Instagram.
"I am sharing my story to bring light to the trend of large companies/celebrities copying the work of small, minority-owned business owners," she continued. "I am not going to let this blatant theft go unchecked."
While speaking to Women's Wear Daily, Rasool explained that while the word "folklore" isn't her intellectual property, the design of the logo on Swift's merch — particularly the placement of the words — was far too similar to ignore and could potentially cause confusion for her customers.
"It's just very hard to believe that [Swift's team] didn't come across it," she said, adding that her company's logo immediately pops up on Google. "And if they did come across it — which I believe they did — for them to model Taylor's merchandise on our logo, especially having seen what our company is about, is especially disheartening to me."
In the wake of Rasool's post, Good Morning Americareported that Swift dropped the "The" and is now simply making merch that says "Folklore" on it — a change already implemented on her webstore. Additionally, her team clarified in a statement that "absolutely no merchandise using the before the words folklore album has been manufactured or sent out."
Subsequently, Rasool took to her Instagram to praise Swift's quick response, writing that it was "a great first step" and that she's currently "in conversation right now with Taylor's team about the next steps to make this situation right."
"I commend her team for recognizing the damage it caused to our brand," Rasool added. "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."