Cornish pub receives framed apology from Vogue publisher after name row
A country pub has received a framed apology from a fashion publishing giant after being threatened with legal action unless the landlords changed its name.
The Star Inn at Vogue was sent a cease-and-desist letter by Vogue’s publisher, Condé Nast, which claimed a link between the two businesses was “likely to be inferred”.
The pub has stood in Vogue, a Cornish village, for hundreds of years, while the magazine was not founded until 1916.
Condé Nast, which also owns The New Yorker, GQ, Vanity Fair and Wired, has since backed down, sending the pub a framed version of their apology.
Its parcel also included a handwritten note, which read: “From one Vogue to another – please accept our apologies.”
The pub’s landlord, Mark Graham, said he was taken aback by the response to news of the original letter after people from around the world, including Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and the US, got in touch to offer support.
He told the BBC: “I received a letter this morning from a man in his 90s in a care home in London, an ex-Penzance man who said it has brought a little tear in his eye because it reminded him of Cornwall and how rebellious the Cornish are, and how you can’t push them around.
“A few people have said, ‘I’ve never heard of your pub, but if I’m in Cornwall it is now on my bucket list to come and visit you’.”
Graham joked that the village had come up with a few ideas to “poke fun” at the publisher, which included starting a similarly titled parish magazine, and rearranging a version of Madonna’s hit song, Vogue, to be performed by “some of the village’s larger, hairier men in skimpy clothing” at this year’s ale festival.
He added: “To be honest I don’t think they [Vogue magazine] have done too badly out of this mistake either. We are all friends now.”
Condé Nast said its team, who “regularly monitor” the use of the name Vogue, were alerted through Companies House. They admitted that “further research” would have identified that a letter was inappropriate in this instance.
Graham and his wife, Rachel, bought the pub 17 years ago after going out for a bike ride and finding it closed for the afternoon.
Nicknamed “the Vogue” by locals, it is adorned with maps of the local area circa 1800, and has remained largely unchanged over the centuries.