BREAKING: Wedding Dress Designer Hayley Paige Resigns From JLM in the Wake of Lawsuit
Written by Emily Rochotte
**Updates will be added to this post as the story develops.**
Updated December 30, 2020
In a follow-up to the @allthatglittersonthegram IGTV video released on December 23, Gutman shared an update with the account’s now 140k followers on December 29 regarding the current legal situation between her and JLM Couture.
Gutman starts by thanking brides, bridal stores and followers for their support and motivation to keep fighting. She goes on to comment that JLM has continued to put out inaccurate statements about their relationship and that if they are serious about valuing their relationship with her, they should sit down with her to have a meaningful discussion.
“I have asked JLM, through a request by my lawyers, to pause the litigation and start a conversation about a graceful end to our relationship,’ shares Gutman. “I have also asked that JLM return the control of my social media accounts to me, for now, and to drop the TRO [temporary restraining order] that has kept me from even so much as saying my own name….I do feel that their answer is going to tell us a lot about what their true intentions are.”
Gutman clarifies that she is fighting specifically for her Instagram and the right to use her own name. According to her, neither the 2011 nor 2014 contracts with JLM include any agreements about Gutman’s social media or how they are to be used.
“In 2019 I attempted to negotiate a less one-sided arrangement, all the while continuing to do my job with the same intensity and passion I had always brought,” tells Gutman. “But when I asked them to work with me on a new, fair agreement they decided to make unreasonable demands that created an intolerable working situation. And they refused to negotiate and ran to a court instead.”
The designer shares she is not just fighting for her own rights but alongside other designers and creatives who have faced legal challenges in their own businesses from Taylor Swift to Bobbi Brown to Prince.
Two change.org petitions have been created asking JLM to give Gutman back her name, one of which has received more than 2.8k signatures since the first video announcement was made December 23 on IGTV.
Imagine the company you have worked for the last nine years legally taking control of your Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest accounts despite them being filled with your personal photos, stories and branded with your legal name. That is the current reality for bridal designer Hayley Paige, who has been stripped of her personal accounts and is no longer legally allowed to use her own name.
The designer, whose legal name is Hayley Paige Gutman, released an eight-minute IGTV video on December 21 through @allthatglittersonthegram, an Instagram account Gutman shares with her fiancé, fitness trainer Conrad Louis Clevlen. Gutman sat down and spoke directly to those watching to tearfully announce her resignation from bridal design house JLM Couture after a year-and-a-half-long legal battle to negotiate a new contract.
The battle resulted in JLM Couture suing Gutman and a court granting JLM temporary access and control over the designer’s TikTok and Pinterest as well as her Instagram @misshayleypaige, which currently has more than 1.1 million followers. Gutman not only promoted her work with JLM on the account, she also used it to share personal moments and vulnerable stories such as her divorce and her experiences with anxiety. The designer was known for using the account to connect with brides and followers, always personally responding to comments and direct messages with warm remarks and an outpouring of love.
As of December 16 onward, all posts and interactions with followers through that account are coming from JLM, not Gutman herself. In the IGTV video, Gutman shares that she is no longer allowed to use the account to post or comment without the permission of JLM president Joe Murphy.
The company is seeking legal permission to continue permanent control of the designer’s name to promote their products, even after she no longer works for them. At this time, Gutman is not allowed to use her legal birth name in any form. She makes no reference to it during her IGTV video, nor in comments on All That Glitters on the Gram. The account’s bio currently reads, “Official account of ‘a girl you might know’ and Conrad Louis.”
JLM Couture responded to Love Inc.'s request for comment with, “This is obviously a serious matter and we are in the process of developing a response. We will get back to you as soon as possible.” The company did not follow up but did go on to speak with the New York Post.
“For nearly a decade, JLM Couture has worked closely with Hayley Paige Gutman and was the 100% financial backer of the Hayley Paige brand and helped grow it into a successful wedding gown line,” a spokesperson for JLM Couture told Page Six. “While negotiating a new employment contract, the two sides disagreed over how much freedom Hayley would have to promote her non-related side businesses on the company site. After Hayley stopped posting JLM content and deprived the company access to the account, we brought the matter before the court. After carefully listening to both sides, a judge granted us the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). We respect the judge’s decision that JLM should have temporary control over the company site and feel the process was fair and equitable. Joe continues to hold Hayley in high regard and hopes to resolve their differences.”
JLM went on to release a seven slide statement on the @jlmcouture Instagram account on December 23 which, commenters quickly pointed out, was originally posted and immediately removed from the @misshayleypaige Instagram right before it showed up on the JLM page. Within 45 minutes of posting, over 135 comments had been left on JLM's post, many calling for people to #boycottJLM.
Comments were deactivated on @misshayleypaige, the account currently under the legal control of JLM Couture after Gutman’s supporters took the comments section to demand justice for the designer.
The Hayley Paige name is currently part of six collections under JLM Couture — Hayley Paige, Blush by Hayley Paige, Hayley Paige Athleisure, Jim Hjelm by Hayley Paige, Hayley Paige Occasions and Le Petite Hayley Paige — along with her drawings that inspired the iOs app Holy Matrimoji, an emoji account filled with Gutman’s digital renderings.
In her IGTV video, Gutman shares her concern that the announcement of her resignation will not reach all her past brides and fans. She asks viewers to share the IGTV video and follow @allthatglittersonthegram, the only account for updates from the designer herself.
Gutman became an employee of JLM Couture at the age of 25 after signing an employment agreement with the company in the summer of 2011. She did not have a lawyer at that time.
“If anyone tells you you do not need to have a lawyer take a look at an agreement or contract, please get a lawyer,” emphasizes Gutman. “If that is the only thing you take away from this video, I will be happy.”
The terms of the agreement were ending and Gutman’s efforts to obtain a new contract were met with behavior from JLM and Mr. Murphy that she found to be controlling, manipulative, and bullying with a far reach into her personal life and creative freedoms beyond bridal design. The misalignment of values between JLM and Gutman is what lead to the resignation.
Love Inc. emailed with Gutman through a spokesperson after the IGTV video was released. When asked what message she would like to send to brides who are currently dress shopping and considering a Hayley Paige design, Gutman said through a spokesperson, “It’s your special day, one you’ll remember for the rest of your life. It’s all about the love, and that is what I advocate. Dress for your dreams and don’t let anything stand in your way.”
Gutman’s IGTV video was met with an outpouring of love from wedding vendors, brides and fans of the TLC show “Say Yes to the Dress.” The All that Glitters Instagram account amassed over 80 thousand new followers in under 24 hours following the announcement.
“I love every one of you so much” Gutman told Love Inc. through a spokesperson. “You have changed my life just by knowing you, and I am excited to get on to the next chapter with you. There is still so much for us to do together. I will always find a way to serve brides.”
Now that fans have liked, followed and shared Gutman’s IGTV video message, they are wondering what else can be done to support her in this difficult time.
“For today, just spread the message that we will not be bullied, we will not be mistreated,” Gutman said through a spokesperson. “And if we are knocked down, we will get up again, dust ourselves off, and move ahead. Together.”