Taking action. Taylor Swift changed her Folklore merch design after claims she stole it from a Black-owned brand. In a statement to Good Morning America on Tuesday, July 28, a representative for Swift revealed that the Grammy winner decided to change the design for the merchandise promoting her seventh album, Folklore, which was released on Friday, July 24, after claims that the art looked similar to the logo of Amira Rasool’s company, The Folklore, an online retailer. In the statement, Swift’s rep explained that the “Cardigan” singer decided to remove the “The” in the phrase “The Folklore Album” on four pieces of her merchandise to distance the branded items from Rasool’s company.
“Yesterday, we were made aware of a complaint that the specific use of the word ‘the’ before ‘folklore album‘ on some of the folklore album merchandise was of concern,” the statement read. “Absolutely no merchandise using ‘the’ before the words ‘folklore album’ has been manufactured or sent out.”
The statement continued, “In good faith, we honored her request and immediately notified everyone who had ordered merchandise with the word ‘the’ preceding ‘folklore album’ that they will now receive their order with the design change.”
After the change, Rasool commended Swift for taking action. “I commend Taylor’s team for recognizing the damage the merchandise caused to my company @TheFolklore’s brand,” Rasool tweeted on Tuesday, July 28. “I recognize that she has been a strong advocate for women protecting their creative rights, so it was good to see her team is on the same page.”
Swift’s design change came after Rasool took to her social media on Friday, July 24 (the day Folklore was released), to compare the album’s merchandise design to her company’s logo. Rasool shared two side-by-side photos: one of Swift’s Folklore cardigan, which showed the word “Folklore” with word “The” on the side of “F.” The other photo was her company’s logo, which showed the exact same placement of the “The.”
“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? @TheFolklore,” Rasool tweeted at the time.
Rasool also posted on her Instagram, “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. I am sharing my story to bring light to the trend of large companies/celebrities copying the work of small minority-owned business owners. I am not going to let this blatant theft go unchecked. Please tag @diet_prada and @thefashionlaw under the post and share this on Twitter and IGz #TheRealFolklore #TheFolklore Original logo designed by @cainecasket.”
According to The Folklore’s website, the brand is a New York City-based “innovative online retail concept” that sells high-end and emerging designer brands from Africa and the Africa diaspora. Items include clothes, accessories, shoes, bags and homeware.
“[The Folklore] serves as a cultural hub for contemporary brands, artists and creatives to showcase their personal stories. Our carefully curated product-line reflects the diversity of Africa’s contemporary urban landscapes and design aesthetic,” the brand’s About Us page reads.