Hayley Paige Gutman, the former wedding dress designer for Hayley Paige Bridal, has changed her name to Cheval amid a legal fight with her former employer, JLM Couture, over the rights to her bridal designs and social media identity.
The former Say Yes to the Dress star announced her new name Monday on Instagram.
"Moving forward, I will be officially identifying as C H E V A L ," the designer wrote about her new name, which means "horse" in French. "The last two weeks have been a whirlwind and then some, but I have been basking in some truly creative and meaningful ideas."
She continued, "I came up with C H E V A L during a brainstorming session with a couple of business mentors/friends/family that have absolutely changed the game for me and inspired me to find my silver lining. They would hate a public shoutout here, so I'm just going to say: you know who you are and thank you for helping me 'giddy-up and go'."
The designer concluded, "My new name doesn't belong to just me, it's for the trail blazers, the offbeat-pathers, the ones who have been kicked around and not sure which way is up, the ones that have gone to h-e-double-hockey-sticks-and-back…. the ones that have put their best foot forward regardless of the adversity with which they are met but they do it with a smile. You have inspired me to keep keepin' on."
Cheval, who also revealed her new Instagram handle @sheischeval, was prompted to change her name after a court on July 25 upheld a March 2021 preliminary injunction that prevented her from using her @misshayleypaige social media accounts and trademarks which bear her former name Hayley Paige, according to Insider.
In an Instagram post last week, Cheval shared that while she officially ended her 11 years of employment with JLM, "I am disappointed to share that my former employer argued that my employment agreement prohibits me, or others, from identifying myself to the trade or consuming public as the designer of any goods in competition with the products of my former employer for a period of 5 years from the end of my contract. The District Court found that this prohibition applies even if I were to identify myself as the designer of competing products under a new name."
In December 2020, Cheval resigned from JLM, revealing she had lost the rights to her own name and social media handles.
"It is with a heavy heart that I have resigned from my role as head designer of my labels with JLM Couture. Going forward, I will no longer be associated with any of their products, including the designs and dresses which bear my name," the designer shared on her personal Instagram account, @allthatglittersonthegram.
"JLM Couture has convinced a court to temporarily prevent me from even using my own name in public in any business context, possibly even including announcing what they have done to me. The Court also granted them control of the million-plus follower Instagram account that I started in early 2012, along with my TikTok and Pinterest accounts for their own purposes. At present, I am not even allowed to remove my personal photos or thoughts from these accounts," she continued in the now-viral clip.
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In court documents filed in December 2020, JLM Couture states that in the Employee Agreement signed by Cheval, she agreed to let the company trademark rights to "Hayley Paige" and all derivatives (the company later filed 10 trademark registrations containing the designer's name). The contract also extended to the social media account @misshayleypaige and other accounts on platforms including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.
Cheval is not ready to move on from the court's most recent ruling regarding her social media control, writing in last week's Instagram post that she will be appealing the court's decisions.
"I am so many emotions right now… hopeful, fired up, full of creative energy, ready to overcome, and eager to serve you some non-bridal goodness ASAP," she wrote Monday.