Even though it's not launching until next month, the Kardashians' latest venture into the style world has already put them in legal danger. This time, it's their forthcoming cosmetics line, Khroma Beauty, that's sparked controversy.
TMZ reports that Beverly Hills-based brand Chroma Makeup (no "K" in this name, obvi) is set to sue Kim, Khloe and Kourtney if they don't change their line's name. Michael Rey, co-owner of Chroma Makeup, told TMZ that the reality stars' new range "cheapens" his line and "creates confusion in the marketplace." He even says that his customers will become "embarrassed" to say they wear Chroma because of the possible confusion with the Kardashian brand -- ouch!
The company further explains their position in a statement on Chroma Makeup's web site: "Because our Chroma customers are being confused into maintaining the mistaken and incorrect belief that we have decided to market inferior cosmetic products, we believe that the Kardashians’ actions are damaging our business."
The high-end makeup line's legal team has yet to make contact with the Kardashians in hopes that they'll simply change the name, according to TMZ. While the names of both brands are arguably similar, the prices and points of sale should help differentiate the brands. Khroma Beauty will be sold at retailers like Sears, CVS and Ulta, while a single lipstick from Chroma Makeup will set you back $22.50.
This isn't the first time the Kardashian clan has faced fashion or beauty-related legal quibbles though. Kris Jenner was slammed with a lawsuit after publicly announcing her facelift despite the fact that she was repping anti-aging line Frownies, and Kim took legal action against Old Navy for using a so-called lookalike in their ads. So maybe the Kardashians should try to err on the side of caution whenever veering into the style industry? Or just be prepared to lawyer up. Either way.
What do you think of this latest controversy? Do you think Khroma Beauty violates trademark laws?
UPDATE: The Huffington Post received a statement from Boldface licensing + branding, the company that represents Khroma Beauty. According to Nicole Ostoya, CEO and co-founder of the company, "Boldface licensing + branding has gone through the appropriate legal channels in obtaining the rights to use the name Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé in the Color Category with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, making all proper legal filings. We do not believe that there is any likelihood of confusion between Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé and any other entity, given that Khroma Beauty by Kourtney, Kim and Khloé is clearly marketed together with the famous Kardashian brand name and will be sold with singular and distinctive trade dress."
Check out some celebrities who've had more successful ventures into the beauty world!
Cindy Crawford for Revlon, 1992
Milla Jovovich for Revlon, 1989
Jennifer Connelly for Revlon, 2008-Present
Brooke Shields for Revlon, 1988
Opera Winfrey for Revlon, 1989
Melanie Griffiths for Revlon, 1996
Shania Twain for Revlon 1999
Lucy Liu for Revlon, 2000
Joan Collins for Revlon, 1980
Liza Minnelli for Revlon, 1980
Audrey Hepburn for Revlon, 1988
Jessica Biel for Revlon, 2009-Present
Beau Garrett for Revlon, 2007-2009
Jessica Alba for Revlon, 2007
Susan Sarandon for Revlon, 2005
Salma Hayek for Revlon, 1998-present
Olivia Wilde for Revlon, Present
Elle Macpherson for Revlon, 2011
Tyra Banks for CoverGirl, 1997
Queen Latifah for CoverGirl, 2001-present
Faith Hill for CoverGirl, 2001
Keri Russell for CoverGirl, 2006-present
Drew Barrymore for CoverGirl, 2007-present
Ellen Degeneres for CoverGirl, 2009-present
Rihanna for CoverGirl, 2009-present
Dania Ramirez for CoverGirl, 2009-present
Brandy for CoverGirl, 2009
Molly Sims for CoverGirl, 2010-present
Taylor Swift for CoverGirl, 2011-present
Sofia Vergara for CoverGirl, 2011-present
Jamie King, Eva Mendes, Julianne Moore & Halle Berry for Revlon, 2004
Aishwarya Rai for L'Oreal, 2005-2011
Diane Keaton for L'Oreal, 2006-Present
Penelope Cruz, 2006-Present
Jane Fonda for L'Oreal, 2006-Present
Claudia Schiffer for L'Oreal, 2006-Present
Gong Li for L'Oreal, 2007-Present
Mila Jovovich for L'Oreal, 2007-Present
Doutzen Kroes for L'Oreal, 2007-Present
Leitita Casta, 2008-Present
Beyonce for L'Oreal, 2008-Present
Eva Longoria for L'Oreal, 2009-Present
Evangeline Lily for L'Oreal, 2009-Present
Diane Krugar for L'Oreal, 2009-Present
Freida Pinto for L'Oreal, 2009-Present
Jennifer Lopez for L'Oreal, 2010-Present
Gwen Stefani for L'Oreal, 2010-Present
Isabella Rossellini for Lancome, 1982-1996
Juliette Binoche for Lancome, 1995-2008
Drew Barrymore for Lancome, 2005
Kate Winslet for Lancome, 2007-present