|(left) Forever 21 knock off (right) Smith II original designs|
In a social media post on March 5, fashion designer Charles Smith II fumed, "I was going to keep silent about this and handle it legally but f**k that, Forever 21 is a giant corporation that gets over on creating cheaply made designs made out of cheap ass Fabric that in a spin cycle of one wash is over before you even dry it. This f**k company ripped off a concept that I incepted January of 2016, as a designer I research every detail of design or concept that I plan to squeeze throughout the collections I create in variations, @donottouchs2 was was a simple idea that went untapped in both commercial & high fashion and I can honestly say and you can Google "Do Not Touch Fashions" and my shit pops up first. Do Not Touch has helped create scholarship funds for kids in a public school system that was built for them to fail and I created and came up with this collection not only to express but to create positive change through the platform I have in the little way that I can, so when giant companies such as @forever21 blatantly steal your ideas and not ask nor compensate you and let alone steal an idea that also belongs to the youth of our public schools, your not only taking money out of my families mouth but you are also taking dreams away from these kids and your taking money out of there pocket which goes to helping there transition into the next great phase of there lives. So @forever21 I know you think your untouchable you seriously have fucked with the wrong nigga, your lack of common decency shows you don't respect young creatives who are trying to accomplish there dreams with our ideas, and since you lack decency I also will do what I have to do to make you respect me and every other designer you have stolen ideas that you couldn't incept on your own from. @vidakush @asherahswimwear @kimikouture let's stand together and not let these giant companies or fake websites and IG profiles continue to theft our hard working ideas."
Smith tagged several other designers in his Instagram post who have apparently had their work ripped off by Forever 21. So, what can we as consumers do about it? For starters, boycott Forever 21. Next? Support local designers by shopping from them directly. It's our duty as consumers to support local artisans and small business and to JUST SAY NO to thievery from large corporate chains who think these small brands don't have the means to fight them. We are the means and by taking our dollars elsewhere, we are sending a message to Forever 21 that this behavior will not be tolerated. 😡
Please take a moment before you continue to contribute to shopping at @forever21 and their ruthless copying of independent designers. These handmade leather leg chains were designed by #vidakush and have been sold on our site for over a year, only to find them cheaply made out of fake leather by a fast fashion retail giant. Please tag any other brands you know of that have been copied by @forever21 #shoplocal #shophandmade #boycottforever21