Fast fashion mega-brand Forever 21 is under fire again for producing designs a little too similar to original pieces by other designers.
Forever 21 has had a bad history of being a copy-cat of major brands such as Anna Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg and Anthropologie, but this time, the brand may have hit an all-time low coming out with a pattern strikingly similar to that of an original design from socially-conscious New York label Feral Childe.
Feral Childe designers Alice Wu and Moriah Carlson have already filed suit against Forever21 for “stealing their hand-drawn, copyrighted “Teepee” print, which took months of collaboration to create.”
Feral Childe produces their entire line in New York’s Garment Center and has, according to Wu, “always strived to create the very best in innovative, ethically-produced clothing that is made to last.” She continues, “Forever 21′s copying and mass production of our original textile design without our permission is just plain wrong.”
According to the press release, issued by Feral Childe’s legal representation, “a review of the above images makes clear that Forever 21 has continued in its campaign to steal outright the creative output of some of the brightest minds in the apparel industry, and trample the intellectual property rights of others in an attempt to boost profits.” The case is currently pending in the Central District of Los Angeles, California.
Other designers are standing by Feral Childe: Change.org, an online petition campaign has been created, calling on the mega retailer Forever21 to remove the design.
“It’s bad enough that Forever21 makes cheap clothes for disposable consumption with production practices that harm factory workers and the environment,” said Eliza Starbuck, a Brooklyn-based eco-designer whose work has been featured in Glamour, The New York Times and other major outlets, who created the petition on Change.org. “Now, by copying one of Feral Childe’s designs and selling it for $15.80 a tang top, Forever21 is not only saying it has no respect for original work of independent designers, the company is also undermining the entire eco-fashion movement and its effort to foster a broader sustainable ethic within the fashion industry.”
“This may seem like a small case,” said Corinne Ball, a Change.org Director of Organizing. “But Eliza Starbuck’s campaign to hold Forever 21 accountable in a very public manner will hopefully make Forever21 think twice about its practices in the future. Socially-responsible fashion designers will be better off for it.”
If you want to be a part of the campaign, check it out on Change.org.