Once again, Forever 21 is involved in an alleged rip-off scandal
While it’s no secret that Forever 21 is perpetually being accused of ripping-off both luxury and independent designers such as Wildfang’s Wild Feminist t-shirt and shoes and apparel from Adidas, this time it’s not just the company that’s in hot water — it’s also vintage designer Sami Miro who just launched a new campaign with the discount retailer.
Forever 21 announced the reveal of the #ForTheLost collection on their Instagram. Miro — whose designs are known for being worn by celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and Selena Gomez — reposted the reveal with the additional comments that she was grateful to be “working with this amazing team who always let me be creating and myself.”
That comment was challenged by indy designer Betsy Johnson of Freckled Ace who claims Miro ripped off the designs she gifted to her back in June. “After calling for a boycott of the collaboration and contacting Sami and Forever 21 I have been ignored, blocked and critics comments have been removed. I’m calling for a boycott,” said Johnson on her Instagram. “@freckledace is founded on ethical production and female empowerment. For them to be assimilated in a fast fashion context by someone I looked up to and sent clothing to is disappointing, to say the least. Comment, tweet, tag, post, whatever.”
The look in question is a barbed wire motif that is undoubtedly similar to the same print seen on Johnson’s designs and which is now unapologetically prevalent in Miro and Forever 21’s collab. However, according to correspondence between Miro and Refinery29, the young designer claims she had been working on her collection since March — long before receiving the gifted items from Johnson — so she denies any form of copying. "A project in this capacity doesn't happen in just a couple months," Miro wrote to Refinery29. "The designs were inspired by vintage t-shirts with barbed wire prints and [Pamela Anderson's] very iconic tattoo.”
At this time, Forever 21 has yet to comment.
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