Centuries old pub told to stop using ‘Vogue’ by fashion mag to ‘avoid confusion’

A pub landlord has hit back at Vogue magazine's owners after they threatened him to change the boozer's name.

The Star Inn at Vogue has been serving beers for over 200 years in the hamlet of Vogue near Redruth, Cornwall so publicans Mark and Rachel Graham were baffled to receive a letter from publishing giant Condé Nast.

Publicans Mark and Rachel Graham showed CornwallLive the notice, which claims their pub's name might confuse its fashonista readers.

Mark, 60, said: “When I opened the letter I thought some bugger in the village was having me on.

“Surely these people can’t be serious. In this modern 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.

"It seems common sense has taken a backseat on this one.”

Condé Nast’s chief operating officer Sabine Vandenbroucke told the couple of her very grave concern that the magazine's global trade could be diverted from Milan, Paris, London and New York to the pub.

Ms Vandenbroucke wrote: “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.”

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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 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.

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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. 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.

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"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 for comment.

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