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


A pub owner has hit back at the owners of Vogue magazine after they threatened to change the boozer’s name.

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

Publicans Mark and Rachel Graham showed CornwallLive the notice, which claims their pub’s name could confuse its Fashonist readers.

Mark, 60, said: ‘When I opened the letter I thought some bugger from the village had bothered me.

“These people certainly can’t be serious. These days someone couldn’t bother to go to Google and see that Vogue is a Cornish hamlet that has been around for hundreds of years.

The letter Mark Graham received from Conde Nast

“It seems common sense has taken precedence over this one.”

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Condé Nast chief executive Sabine Vandenbroucke told the couple her very serious concern that the magazine’s global business could be diverted from Milan, Paris, London and New York to the pub.

Ms Vandenbroucke wrote: “Our company owns the Vogue brand, not only for its world famous magazine first published in November 1916, but for other goods and services offered to the public by our company.

“We are concerned that the name you are using could cause problems because, as far as the general public is concerned, a connection between your business and ours is likely to be inferred.”

Mark Graham
Mark proves that Vogue is actually the name of a hamlet

Ms Vandenbroucke’s letter, dated March 1, 2022, also asked Mark and Rachel to provide more information about the type of business at the Star Inn Vogue pub and the images it uses to ensure it obviously cannot be confused with the magazine.

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At the end, he adds menacingly, “Please respond within seven days or we will take corrective action.”

Mark believes Vogue’s confused state may have arisen when he and his wife decided to change their business status from a general partnership to a limited liability company.

The Star Inn at Vogue
The Star Inn at Vogue will not change its name

In his letter to the New York publisher’s London offices, the publican said: “While I found your letter interesting on the one hand, I also found it hilarious and funny. I assume your magazine bases its name on the dictionary term for being fashionable which is not capitalized as used in the Oxford English Dictionary.

“If any 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 it is, Vogue is the name of our village, which has been around for hundreds of years and is actually a Cornish word, not English.

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“I note in your letter that you have only been around since 1916 and I assume that at the time you chose the name Vogue in capitals you did not seek permission from the villagers of the real Vogue.

Mark Graham
Mark had fun with his response to Conde Nast

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“I also assume that Madonna didn’t ask your permission to use the word Vogue (again the capitalized version) for her 1990s song of the same name.

“You’re both free to use the non-capitalized version without our permission. By the way, she didn’t ask for our permission either.”

Mark concluded by saying, “In response to your question of whether we would change our name, it’s a resounding NO.”

Conde Nast has been contacted for comment.



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