Kim Kardashian’s newly announced skin-care line, SKKN by Kim, is facing controversy over its name.
On June 1, Kardashian, who struggles with psoriasis, introduced her first round of products as “a rejuvenating nine-product skin-care ritual” with “refillable packaging, and clean, science-backed ingredients designed to nourish all skin types, tones, and textures at all stages of maturity.”
However, Kardashian is being called out over the similarity between her line’s name and two Black-owned beauty brands: SKKN+ and Lori Harvey’s skin-care line SKN by LH.
Back in August 2021, Forbes reported that aesthetician Cyndie Lunsford filed a cease and desist letter after Kardashian’s Kimsaprincess Inc. filed to trademark “SKKN” for her upcoming beauty line. According to Lunsford’s legal team, Lunsford established SKKN+ in 2018 and filed for a trademark of her own in 2021. Documents show that Lunsford filed for the trademark on March 28, 2021.
“I have painstakingly built my successful small business with my own sweat equity, hard work, and research. It’s clear that I established my brand first,” Lunsford said in an email to Forbes at the time. “As a young black woman, my mission with SKKN+ is to provide quality skincare and curated full-body experiences to enhance each client’s self-care regimen. The (+) represents a hands-on transformative aesthetic experience that elevates the body, mind, and spirit.”
Lunsford’s attorney Erik M. Pelton added, “It is hard to believe that Kardashian’s team either did not know about the prior use of SKKN+ or knew and adopted the SKKN brand name anyways to steamroll a small minority business.”
On top of that, Harvey launched her own skin-care line, SKN by LH, in 2021. “I have rosacea and would struggle to find the right products to use,” she told Vogue in October 2021. “Then I got into modeling, and between shoots and backstage at runway shows you have so much makeup being put on your face. My skin was constantly going through it. So after using, like, 20 different products on my face at one time, I felt like there had to be a simpler way for me to get my skin looking the way I wanted it to.”
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