Vogue threatens to sue 200-year-old Cornish pub in tiny hamlet with same name

13 May 2022, 20:53 | Updated: 13 May 2022, 21:32

The Cornish pub is called The Star Inn at Vogue
The Cornish pub is called The Star Inn at Vogue. Picture: Google Maps

By Emma Soteriou

Vogue magazine has threatened to sue a pub with the same name in the small Cornish village of Vogue.

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Lawyers for the fashion magazine reportedly wrote a cease and desist letter to The Star Inn at Vogue, based in a rural hamlet called Vogue near the town of Redruth in Cornwall.

The letter demanded that landlord Mark Graham change the pub's 200-year-old name or face legal action.

They said they were "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".

The letter added: "Please reply within seven days or we will take remedial action."

In response, the family-run pub wrote a letter of their own, which they later shared to Facebook.

"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 in Cornwall.

"Yes, that's right, Vogue is the name of our own village, which has been in existence for hundreds of years, and in fact is a Cornish word not English."

They went on to say: "In answer to your question of whether we would change the name of our company, it is a categoric NO."

They added: "Please reply to this letter in your own time, no rush, in fact 'dreckly' is just fine."

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Locals have since rallied together, even preparing to go to court in support of the pub.

However, lawyers for Vogue's parent company - Condé Nast - later u-turned on the letter, admitting in a follow up note to Mr Graham on Friday that "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".

Following the failed threats, Mr Graham said he intended to "crack on the way we always have", highlighting the fact that Vogue magazine was actually established almost a century after the pub - in 1916.

"I was astonished that in this day and age a company that big could not be bothered to do any background checks before sending such a nasty letter," Mr Graham told the Telegraph.

"The community are up in arms, they want me to create a parish magazine and call it a 'Vogue magazine' and have a fashion week and call it 'Vogue fashion week'.

"One of our lovely barmaids wants to rewrite the Madonna song Vogue and release it for ourselves on TikTok or Facebook.

"Everybody's contacted me - every man and his dog. Everyone's more than happy to jump in and we're happy to take them to court if need be."

Mr Graham went on to tell the paper: "The pub has been here just under 200 years and they've only been here for 100 years - it's another case of the big companies trying to bully the little companies into submission and that ain't going to work in Cornwall.

"We've got a history of rebellion."