Iconic fashion magazine Vogue is threatening to sue a beloved 200-year-old pub nestled away in a tiny hamlet after claiming its name could confuse its readers.
Conde Nast, the publisher of Vogue, has reportedly sent a ‘cease and desist’ letter to family-run Star Inn at Vogue, a hamlet near the leafy civil parish of St Day, Cornwall.
Publicans Mark and Rachel Graham were ordered to stop using the homonymous name of the Cornish hamlet to prevent confusing the glossy magazine’s readers.
Signed off by Conde Nast’s chief operating officer Sabine Vandenbroucke, the letter notes her ‘grave concern’ that Vogue the hamlet could cause a mix-up in global trade for the fashion bible of the same name.
The letter reads: ‘Our company is the proprietor of the Vogue mark, not only for its world-famous magazine first published in November 1916 but in respect of other goods and services offered to the public by our company.
‘We are concerned that the name which you are using is going to cause problems because as far as the general public is concerned a connection between your business and ours is likely to be inferred.’
But Mr Graham, 60, said he could scarcely believe it when he received the warning, telling CornwallLive: ‘It seems common sense has taken a backseat on this one.
‘When I opened the letter I thought some b****r in the village was having me on’, he added.
‘Surely these people can’t be serious? In this day and age, someone couldn’t be bothered to go onto Google and see that Vogue is a Cornish hamlet that’s been here for hundreds of years.’
Conde Nast has reportedly sent a ‘cease and desist’ letter to the family-run pub Star Inn at Vogue (pictured), which is nestled in a hamlet near the leafy civil parish of St Day in Cornwall
Vogue is a tiny hamlet near the Cornish village of St Day which as a population of around 5,000
Publican Mark Graham, 60, said he could scarcely believe it when he received the legal warning and added: ‘It seems common sense has taken a backseat on this one’
Ms Vandenbroucke’s letter, dated March 1, 2022, also asked Mark and Rachel to provide more information about what type of business the Star Inn Vogue pub is about and any imagery it uses to make sure it obviously can’t be confused with the magazine.
At the end it adds threateningly: ‘Please reply within seven days or we will take remedial action.’
Mark, who thought some of his punters were having a laugh at his expense, did reply with a long missive – complete with a selection of photos of the pub and street names found in the area, bearing the name Vogue.
He and his wife have run the pub successfully for the past 17 years, and says he’s not concerned about Conde Nast’s letter.
He thinks Vogue’s confused state may have arisen when he and his wife decided to change their trading status from a partnership to a limited company and the name popped up on Companies House and suddenly Condé Nast went into a fashion flap.
In his letter to the New York publisher’s London offices, the publican said: ‘Whilst I found your letter interesting on the one hand, I also found it hilariously funny.
‘I presume your magazine bases its name on the dictionary term for being in fashion which is uncapitalised as used in the Oxford English Dictionary.
‘If a member of your staff had taken the time to investigate they would have discovered that our company, the Star Inn, is in the small village of Vogue, near St Day, Cornwall.
The fashion bible, read by millions of people in the UK alone, notes its ‘grave concern’ that Vogue the hamlet could cause a mix-up in global trade for the magazine of the same name
‘Yes, that’s right, Vogue is the name of our village, which has been in existence for hundreds of years and in fact is a Cornish word, not English.
‘I note in your letter that you have only been in existence since 1916 and I presume that at the time when you chose the name Vogue in the capitalised version you didn’t seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue.
‘I also presume that Madonna did not seek your permission to use the word Vogue (again the capitalised version) for her 1990s song of the same name.
‘You are both at liberty to use the uncapitalised version without our permission. As a side note she didn’t seek our permission either.’
Mark concluded saying: ‘In answer to your question whether we would change our name, it is a categorical NO.’
Conde Nast has been contacted to provide comment.
Source: New feed