She may be the face of Dior, but Rihanna has also been known to wear clothes from younger, more streetwear-oriented designers, like Korean-born Hyein Seo, a recent graduate of the prestigious Antwerp Royal Academy, whose wares are already sold in stores including Vfiles in New York, Boon the Shop in Seoul and KM20 in Moscow. Rihanna has worn Hyein Seo to Paris Fashion Week, the MTV Movie Awards and on her tour with Eminem. Most recently, on May 3, she wore the above T-shirt from the designer's graduate collection, titled "Bad Education."
Eight days after she wore that shirt, Rihanna's company Roraj Trade, LLC filed the trademark "$CHOOL KILLS" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for various clothing and accessories categories, from satchels to t-shirts to socks. An anonymous source told Grazia, who first reported news of the filing, that "$CHOOL KIlls will be an accessories range covering everything from tote bags to purses, and later on, fashion."
While we're pleased to hear Rihanna may be getting back into the design game — she dipped her toes in via a collaboration with River Island from 2011 to 2013 — this is a little fishy. Although School Kills is not the name of Seo's brand, the phrase, emblazoned on t-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets, has become associated with her, perhaps more than anything else she's designed thus far. And when you're a young brand with limited resources, that kind of organic recognizability and buzz is crucial. Were Rihanna, who is obviously much more famous than Seo, to claim that as her own, well... that would be sad.
And it would be particularly unfortunate for Seo, who was also maybe ripped off by designer Phillip Plein recently. Let's just hope Seo and Rihanna are working together.
We reached out to Seo for comment but have not yet heard back.