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Vogue admits it was wrong to threaten to sue pub of same name

By Olivier Vergnault & Graeme Murray

Vogue magazine has admitted it was wrong to threaten to sue a pub with the same name.

Condé Nast which owns the international fashion magazine threatened legal action against the Star Inn at Vogue which they insisted was their name.

But the bar in Cornwall is more than 200 years old and the village of Vogue is even older, Cornwall Live reports.

The publisher's legal team in New York sent publicans Mark and Rachel Graham a "cease and desist" letter threatening them if they didn't stop using the name Vogue.

Mark and Rachel Graham replied to Sabine Vandenbroucke, chief operating officer at the magazine, sparking an online storm.

Mark with the village sign (James Dadzitis / SWNS)

CornwallLive reports their amusing response criticised Vogue for not bothering to Google the Cornish village's name.

The Mirror told how 60-year-old publican made a point that Vogue should have asked villagers' permission for using the name of their village, not the other way round.

His response is here in full as it is worth repeating once more for its entertainment value.

“Whilst I found your letter interesting on the one hand, I also found it hilariously funny.

The village has along history which began before Vogue magazine (James Dadzitis / SWNS)

"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.

"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.

The international fashion magazine claimed the pub name 'The Star Inn at Vogue' could confuse its readers (James Dadzitis / SWNS)

“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.

Mark, owner of the Star Inn at Vogue, Cornwall, with his wife Rachel (James Dadzitis / SWNS)

"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.”

Now Condé Nast has admitted it may have been a bit hasty with its use of legal threats and should have made better use of the Google search engine instead.

Christopher P. Donnellan, from Condé Nast Publications Limited's legal department, has now written another letter to Mark and Rachel.

It confirmed that when the couple changed their legal trading status from a partnership to a limited company and the name Star Inn Vogue popped up on Companies House.

The David vs Goliath battle has now enraged the people of the small hamlet of Vogue (James Dadzitis / SWNS)
Mark thought he initially was having a joke played on him (James Dadzitis / SWNS)

He said: "Many thanks for your letter dated March 15, 2022, and for responding with more information about your business and the hamlet of Vogue.

"We were grateful for your response and to learn more about your business in this beautiful part of our country.

"I am sure you will appreciate why we regularly monitor use of the name Vogue, including at Companies House (which is how we were alerted to your company name).

"However, you are quite correct to note that further research by our team would have identified that we did not need to send such a letter on this occasion.

"Everyone at Conde Nast wishes you and everyone in Vogue best wishes for a happy summer, and for your upcoming “American Night” on May 18."

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Dive Deeper:
Vogue magazine threatens to sue Cornish village pub of the same name
A letter from Vogue magazine's owner Condé Nast called on the owners of Star Inn at Vogue in Cornwall to…
Vogue magazine issues 'cease and desist' warning to Cornish pub of the same name
Landlord of the Star Inn at Vogue points out that the pub is more than 200 years old and was…
Vogue magazine threatens tiny village pub that shares its name with legal action
The Star Inn at Vogue, a small hamlet in Cornwall, has been in existence for more than 200 years
Vogue magazine threatens legal action to Cornish pub if it doesn’t change name
‘In answer to your question of whether we would change the name of our company, it is a categoric NO’
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Inside Vogue magazine's feud with a small Cornish pub
The magazine wrote to the landlord of The Star Inn at Vogue threatening to sue over the name, but the…
Cornish pub will not change name despite letter from Vogue owner
Landlords of Star Inn at Vogue says it ‘wouldn’t have taken five minutes’ to find out pub is named after…
Get all your news in one place