Designer Hayley Paige says she's legally banned from using her own name, quits JLM Couture

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One of the wedding gown industry’s biggest designers is embroiled in a legal battle with fashion house JLM Couture Inc.

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Hayley Paige Gutman, 35, took to Instagram on Monday to announce her resignation as a head designer at the multilabel bridal house.

In her eight-and-a-half-minute video, Gutman explained that JLM had sued her while the pair were in the middle of contract negotiations, and now she is locked out of the branded social media accounts that bear her name, per court order, including Miss Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley Paige, Hayley Paige Occasions and La Petite Hayley Paige.

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Combined, the accounts have well over 1.42 million followers on Instagram alone. However, what was once Gutman’s own personal account, Miss Hayley Paige, has an Instagram following of around 1.1 million. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York also granted JLM access to Gutman’s TikTok and Pinterest accounts.

Gutman went on to urge her followers to stay updated with the case on All That Glitters on the Gram – the Instagram account she has dedicated to her podcast.

“Going forward, I will no longer be associated with any of their products, including the designs and dresses which bear my name. JLM Couture has convinced a court, for at least the time being, to prevent me from even using my own name in public in any business context, possibly even including announcing what they have done to me,” Gutman said in a press release. “At present, I am not even allowed to remove my personal photos or thoughts from these accounts.”

A spokesperson for JLM Couture has argued that Gutman still has access to her namesake accounts and that her resignation was a shock for the brand.

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“JLM Couture encourages, and would welcome, Hayley to work with us to publish on the brand’s Instagram and other social media platforms posts that are supportive of the Hayley Paige brands,” JLM’s spokesperson wrote to FOX Business via email. “We have worked collaboratively with Hayley and the dedicated team of designers and assistants to fund and build the brand into the success it is today. We continue to hold Hayley in the highest regard and hope to resolve any differences.”

A styled shoot image of the “Fleetwood” gown from the fall/winter 2020 Hayley Paige collection. (Hayley Paige/JLM Couture )

The spokesperson went on to refute Gutman’s claim that she didn’t have a lawyer review her contract with JLM based on the fact that “there were multiple rounds of negotiations” in addition to an amendment made “later with Hayley’s consent.”

But, much like Gutman referenced in her video, JLM Couture’s spokesperson did admit that that company and Gutman had creative differences when it came to nonbridal content and business dealings outside of JLM.

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The fashion house and Gutman’s “give-and-take” relationship were strained when she allegedly refused to take down nonbridal-related posts or re-share wedding gown photos, according to JLM’s spokesperson.

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JLM claims Gutman changed the passwords to the social media accounts and ignored requests to promote upcoming Hayley Paige collections, which led the company to seek legal action. A temporary restraining order was granted by a judge, which bars Gutman from using her name in other business ventures.

A representative for Gutman told FOX Business that the story isn't over yet, either.

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“It’s certainly a business story, but to 2 million or so people, it is also a story of a young woman having her social media, and her name taken from her by her employer,” Gutman’s rep wrote in an email. “It's a story about what happens to young creative people when they are starting out. It’s pretty compelling to a lot of different audiences.”

Since details of the legal dispute became public, fans of the designer have criticized JLM Couture across social media and business rating platforms. Currently, the comment sections of the Hayley Paige accounts have been deactivated along with many posts under JLM Couture’s main Instagram page.

Gutman signed with JLM Couture in 2011 at the age of 25. Wedding gowns she designed under JLM range between $3,000 and $6,000, according to the company’s website.

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Other JLM Couture designers include Lazaro, Allison Webb and Alvina Valenta.

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