By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Pop and country superstar Taylor Swift took immediate action last week to quell any lingering controversy over whether she copied the logo of a prominent Black fashion designer as part of the campaign for her new LP “Folklore.” Swift announced last Friday she was donating to Amira Rasool’s company and the Black in Fashion Council, and that she had changed the design.
The controversy began when Rasool wrote on Instagram July 24 that, “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 founded the online retailer The Folklore. It sells “Africa and the diaspora’s top contemporary designed brands.” Swift then responded to Rasool on Twitter last Tuesday, saying, “Amira, I admire the work you’re doing and I’m happy to make a contribution to your company and to support the Black in Fashion Council (launching on 8/3) with a donation,” Swift tweeted with a heart emoji.
Rasool replied, “Thank you, Taylor. Wishing you all the best.”
Swift’s team representative Tree Paine also told USA Today last Friday that they had taken other action to remedy the situation.
“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. 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.”
Rasool confirmed the change on her Instagram, writing, “Taylor Swift’s team took a great first step by removing “the” from all of the merchandise.”
“Folklore,” Swift’s eighth studio LP, has already proven a global smash. It moved 846,000 copies (both sales and streams) in its first week, according to Nielsen Music. That’s not only the year’s biggest opening for any record to date, but the biggest for any LP since her 2019 release “Lover,” that moved 867,000.
“Folklore’s” strong commercial showing was more than enough to secure a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200, the 30-year-old Swift’s seventh visit to the chart’s top spot. Swift’s label, Republic Records, said global sales for “Folklore” have passed two million.