A big-name UK-based fashion label has been accused of stealing a design from an independent New York fashion label.
Ragged Priest, which is headquartered in London, was called out in an Instagram post on Saturday shared by PR Director Rachel D’Amico, who shared a passionate plea for large labels to stop ‘ripping off’ the creations of smaller, independent brands.
Alongside her poignant caption, Rachel shared two images of a pair of jeans by indie label StickyBaby that are printed with broken hearts, with one picture showing the jeans being modeled by Bella Hadid during a day out in Paris last year.
Denim wars: UK-based fashion label Ragged Priest has been accused of stealing the heart-print design from independent label Stickybaby (pictured) that were once worn by Bella Hadid
‘Bella Hadid in ORIGINAL, handmade StickyBaby jeans from last year,’ Rachel wrote in the caption of her post, before adding: ‘@theraggedpriest please stop stealing from young independent designers.
‘You’re better than F21 and Zara. and everyone else please support ORIGINAL designers and artists and the big brands who do the right thing by collaborating with them instead of blatantly ripping them off.’
Although Rachel did not share a picture of the offending Ragged Priest designs she was referring to as far as her copying claim, the brand’s website currently features several very similar designs that have the same broken heart pattern in a variety of different colors and shades.
However, while Rachel was incredibly passionate in her post, Ragged Priest refused to take the claims lying down, responding to her post in a comment in which a spokesperson denied all claims that the brand had copied StickyBaby’s designs.
The brand claimed that featuring a broken heart on clothing is not ‘copying’ because a ‘broken heart is a thing’ and can therefore be used in a variety of different designs.
‘Please stop calling us out on social media saying that we have copied someone when this is 100% not the case,’ the comment read.
Support original designers: The Instagram post encourages people to shop from independent brands
Common design: The Ragged Priest denied that they had stole design ideas from Stickybaby
‘There is a broken heart emoji, did they copy feeling sticky? No. Why’s that? Because a broken heart is a thing.
‘A thing commonly used by many people.’
The comment went on to claim that Ragged Priest had been offering these kinds of designs since before StickyBaby ever began operating, saying: ‘We have been doing custom denim applique WAY BEFORE feelin sticky. It’s how we started 10 years ago.
‘We have had Rihanna, Beyoncé, Cara Delevigne [sic], Bella Hadid,and many many more famous people wear our products over the years, so we don’t need to copy something as basic as a heart Jean to get kudos (no disrespect meant).
‘So your wrong and out of order to say that we saw Bella in these jeans and copied them. Our jeans are a version of a style we have been running with for 4 years. You can go back through our insta thread to check the origins of our design go way back before feelin sticky created hers.’
‘If we wanted we could go back three years ago and say she is copying us by using appliqué letters and angst words on jersey. Something we have been doing way before her. Would we do that? No, because we understand that when designers are following a trend, similarity occurs.’
Jean Queen: Supermodel Bella Hadid in Paris, France, wearing independent label Stickybaby
All smiles: Bella takes stroll in Paris, France, in April wearing the Stickybaby heart-print jeans
‘It’s happened to us more than enough times and will happen again. It sucks, but what sucks even more is being wrongly called out on social media for apparently copying a design that was created AFTER our original version of our supposed copy?? Feel free to email us @ email@example.com if you want actual dated proof.’
But despite the brand’s reply, many of Rachel’s followers were not convinced, with one person commenting: ‘YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. Boo to them!’
Another added: ‘Oooh I am MAD.’
It is not the first time that Ragged Priest has hit the headlines in recent months; just a few months ago the brand went viral after a pair of its barely-there jeans appeared on fashion site ASOS.
Called ‘chaps’ the jeans from Ragged Priest’s Black Label collection created a stir on Twitter after one customer spotted the slashed jeans held together by a pair of metal chain suspenders – revealing a large portion of the upper thigh.
And as for Stickybaby, which was designed and created by Amanda Litzinger in Brooklyn, New York,she said the label continues to get ‘an influx of attention’ since Bella Hadid was seen wearing the brand.
Last May, Amanda told W Magazine: ‘I couldn’t make up a more ideal person to embody the brand. That’s what I put into it: confidence and power.’
‘People don’t know about small brands. People are always looking for cool clothes and I’ve got ’em.’