A trendy Sydney fashion brand – which has made its millennial founders very wealthy – has been accused of copying the designs of a smaller, niche Aussie label.
Fast-fashion giant White Fox Boutique, whose jumpers are a favourite among fashionable Gen-Z Aussies, was publicly called out last week by womenswear label Pfeiffer for allegedly copying its designs.
The Bondi-based label posted photos to social media comparing its own popular Apollo dress with a seemingly very similar version sold by White Fox.
One image shows a screenshot taken from the White Fox website of a model wearing a yellow dress with a knot below the bust.
A second photo shows a model wearing Pfeiffer’s dress, which features what appears to be a similar motif.
‘Our Apollo style has already fallen victim [to imitation],’ Pfeiffer claimed.
White Fox Boutique, founded by fashion power couple Georgia and Daniel Contos (pictured), has been accused of copying the designs of independent brands
Bondi-based label Pfeiffer posted photos on Instagram comparing its own popular Apollo dress (right) with a similar version sold by White Fox Boutique (left)
White Fox Boutique did not respond to written requests for comment from Daily Mail Australia.
Pfeiffer’s accusation comes after the fashion label’s founders, high school sweethearts Daniel and Georgia Contos, went on a property spending spree in one of Sydney’s most exclusive eastern suburbs.
Georgia, 32, and Daniel, 33 – who started White Fox as a small start-up selling clothes on eBay – recently finalised the purchase of their fourth house in Vaucluse, bringing their total property spend close to $120million.
The latest addition to their burgeoning property empire was an off-market listing from Laing+Simmons in Double Bay. A caveat on the property was lodged on the home earlier this week, showing the sale to a Contos business.
Being able to splash out $120million on property in two years, and to have enough left over to spend millions more in renovations, shows just how far the glamour couple has come.
Pfeiffer co-founder Angela Aspradakis told Daily Mail Australia that reports of the property splurge were a factor in her label coming out and publicly criticising White Fox.
‘In the past we’ve swallowed… copying but the timing of this one was difficult,’ she said.
‘The news of the real estate acquisitions made it too hard to ignore. They [the founders of White Fox] literally bought like $100million worth of property in the last year.’
She said her message to the company was: ‘Don’t rip off another Australian brand.
‘We don’t like the idea of tearing down another brand in our industry because we believe fashion can do great things, but the investment we make into ethical production in Australia, plus being carbon neutral, isn’t something echoed in fast fashion.’
Pfeiffer co-founders Angela Aspradakis (left) and Virginie Pepin (right) publicly called out White Fox Boutique
White Fox Boutique is best known for its oversized hoodies popular among Gen-Z women
Design imitation is notoriously hard to prove in the fashion industry.
Ms Aspradakis said her label had struggled to take legal action against brands copying its designs.
‘The laws are that if you change 10 per cent of the design, which can can literally be a fabric change, then it’s legal,’ she said.
This isn’t the first time White Fox has been accused of copying a smaller brand’s designs after an industry backlash in early 2022.
Then, influencers and small businesses took to social media accusing White Fox of selling designs similar to those of Australian and international brands Mr Winston, Miaou and Dion Lee.
Ilah Watson was one of several small-business owners to point the finger, accusing the label of creating designs resembling products sold by other brands.
In an Instagram post, Ms Watson shared an image of a blue mini skirt sold by her online retailer Vesper.co alongside an almost identical design from White Fox.
‘Am I crazy, or…?’ she wrote.
At the time, a White Fox spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph it ‘takes intellectual property and the allegations… very seriously.
‘As these matters have been referred to our lawyers, we are not in a position to comment.’
Since launching in 2013, White Fox’s business has grown exponentially, landing its co-founders on the AFR Young Rich List.
Georgia and Daniel Contos bought this 1920s residence designed by architect F. Glynn Gilling in Vaucluse for more than $25million
The couple splashed out $34.55million on this Mediterranean home in Vaucluse in 2021
White Fox proved to be a huge success. The brand has been worn by the likes of the Kardashian sisters, Sofia Richie, Hailey Baldwin and Emily Ratajkowski.
‘I was working a full time job so I had no idea that it was going to be as big as it is now or be recognised by a lot of people I meet,’ Georgia Contos previously told Daily Mail Australia.
She said the main driver of the label’s success was social media.
Known for their skimpy dresses and oversized hoodies, White Fox now has showrooms in Sydney and Los Angeles
Covid-19 lockdowns saw their business skyrocket as shoppers flocked to the retailer to stock up on activewear and loungewear for all those extra hours at home.
They had a massive 154 per cent increase in activewear sales after NSW plunged into its second shutdown in June 2021.