Kim Kardashian's newly-launched skincare line is under fire for allegedly ripping its name from a Black woman's pre-existing company.
After filing to trademark SKKN and SKKN by KIM, Kardashian's legal team was hit with a cease-and-desist letter in July 2021 from Beauty Concepts LLC, a company that claimed to have ownership of the name already.
Beauty Concepts owner Cyndie Lunsford said she's been running salons and skin care services under the name SKKN+ since 2018, according to the cease-and-desist obtained by Page Six. She added that the company filed to trademark the name on March 28, 2021, two days before Kardashian applied for hers.
“I have painstakingly built my successful small business with my own sweat equity, hard work, and research,” Lunsford told Page Six. “It’s clear that I established my brand first.”
Almost a year later, Kardashian went forward with launching her 9-step skincare line SKKN on Wednesday (June 1).
However, questions about the company name have resurfaced, as a Twitter user shared that Lunsford opened a storefront just last month under the same moniker.
"Lunsford recently [on May 3] opened her storefront location, proving that she has no worries about losing her brand to the Kardashian queen, because she knows she had the first in rights and trademark security that every brand needs," Laine Braidley shared on Thursday (June 2).
"My trademark attorney sent out this email. So Kim K received a cease & desist from the owner, Cyndie Lunsford, who owns the name SKKN+," Braidley wrote in her tweet referring to the July 21 letter. "Kim K has already launched the brand, SKKN and she doesn’t even own the name."
Twitter users have also pointed out the similarities between Kardashian's SKKN by KIM and Lori Harvey's SKN by LH, which launched last year.
Whether from Lunsford or Harvey, many are accusing the reality tv star of building her new skincare line off the back of a Black woman's original idea.