A mother from Australia is says that LVMH — the owners of fashion brand Kenzo — threatened to sue her over the name of her skincare line, Kenz Beauty, which is named after her daughter with autism.
Rim Daghmash, the owner of Kenz Beauty, recently shared a video on social media of the letter she says she received from Kenzo — which is owned by LVMH — that threatened to take legal action over the name of her business.
She first shares a photo of LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault, who she notes is “the wealthiest person on Earth.”
LVMH — which also controls fashion brands Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Fendi and many more — did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In the video, Daghmash, who also did not immediately respond to a request for comment, then introduces her own brand, Kenz Beauty, “which was named after my autistic daughter Kenzie.”
Sharing her story, Daghmash says after finding out Kenzie has autism a year ago, she quit her full-time job and began Kenz Beauty and “committed myself to her [daughter’s] therapy.”
“I launched this business to tell the world that autistic kids are beautiful. We are inspired by Kenzie’s beauty, and we’ve called the business Kenz Beauty because autistic kids are beautiful.”
She says after releasing multiple products, the company received lots of support from locals “who love to support small businesses” as well as “the autism community who is inspired by our story.”
Daghmash says while going through the trademarking process, she was issued a letter from Kenzo’s legal team that claimed she committed trademark infringement and warned that they would sue.
“Not only did they oppose our trademark registration, but they also threatened us with legal action in the federal court. To avoid this they want us to close down our business and stop using the word ‘Kenz’ in all our products, all our websites and social media,” says Daghmash.
“The global giant is threatened by a small Australian startup whose sales combined does not equal one sale of one product from Louis Vuitton,” she says, adding that Kenzo’s lawyers sent her multiple notices that included images of the product captured from her website.
They requested that she to pull the products right away, Daghmash says.
“As if our small family business is threatening this guy and his multi-million dollar companies,” says Daghmash as a photo of Arnault is displayed. “To me as a small business owner, this is pure bullying and harassment.”
“A 5-year-old will be able to tell the difference between Kenz Beauty and Kenzo,” says Daghmash.
She then shows a logo of Kenzo and asked “how is this similar to Kenz Beauty? Someone explain to me.”
Forbes officially announced Bernard as the world’s richest person in May of 2021, with an estimated net worth of $186.3 billion — putting him $300 million above Jeff Bezos, who was worth $186 billion, and Elon Musk, worth $147.3 billion at that time.
In a statement to Australia’s Channel Nine, a spokesperson for Kenzo Perfums said “Kenzo is acting worldwide to protect its brand and products in order to avoid any risk of confusion with a third-party brand and, above all, to fight against infringement.”
The spokesperson said “discussions” began with Daghmash “without ever questioning the existence, the values and the functioning of this brand, but simply to avoid any risk of confusion to the public.”
“Discussions are ongoing and we are willing to reach an amicable agreement that will preserve our mutual interests, just as we wish full success to Ms. Daghmash and the action she is achieving via her company,” the spokesperson said in the written statement.
This is definitely a matter for the courts.