Last Friday, the country-pop singer-songwriter dropped her eighth studio album and indie-folk debut, folklore, alongside a fresh new set of wooly cardigan merch. Folklore is a striking change from her more upbeat pop sounds, sombre, emotional, and the kind of music you can listen to and get lost in the woods. But, for the founder of The Folklore, an independent retailer that profiles African and African-American artists, Amira Rasool, its design bore a striking resemblance to her own.
As she pointed out on Twitter, the logo of the Lover singer’s new merch was strikingly similar to her own “The Folklore” logo, right down to the “the” perpendicularly placed vertically against the word “Folklore.”
“Wait hold up. Taylor Swift, it’s one thing to use the name “Folklore” but we’re out here stealing Black women’s logos too?” the independent fashion retailer tweeted.
According to InStyle, Rasool has used the design and phrase since 2018. Yet, when Swift dropped her album, fans began sending her emails asking about Swift’s products and their digital album download orders. Others congratulated Rasool for collaborating with the hugely popular country-pop star.
But, uh, here’s the thing: she didn’t. As she told the outlet, this was not a collab with a big named celebrity, this was someone stealing her work.
"Initially I was so shocked,” Rasool, 24, told InStyle. “I'd heard of so many different Black women in particular who had been ripped off by large corporations by celebrities. And I just couldn't believe that it was happening to me."
"It’s just very hard to believe that [Swift’s team] didn't come across it,” she continued. “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."
Then, a few days later and after a conversation between their lawyers, Swift’s team seemingly changed the logo on her merch listed on the website.
“I commend Taylor’s team for recognising the damage the merchandise caused to my company The Folklore’s brand,” Rasool tweeted in response. “I recognise that she has been a strong advocate for women protesting their creative rights, so it was good to see her team is on the same page.”
“It was a great first step and we are in conversation right now with Taylor’s team about the next steps to make this situation right.”