This sweatshirt is available at Represent for $39.99, and its listing refers to it as "a re-creation of the original shirt worn by Alix Dobkin in 1975 in a photograph by Liza Cowan." Dobkin was a well-known queer singer-songwriter, and she donned a shirt with the same slogan, designed by then-girlfriend Cowan, as part of Cowan's photo project. Details of the design's origins were detailed in a recent New York Times article.
The comments section of Delevingne's account quickly lit up upon the posting of this morning's image. Commenters pointed out how she and girlfriend Annie Clark, a.k.a. singer St. Vincent, had each been seen in shirts bearing the same phrase previously — shirts created by Los Angeles design collective Otherwild. The response was less than warm.
"And as a queer woman yourself, the least you could [do] is support @otherwild," wrote Sabrina_Wreck.
"Really messed up that you blatantly ripped off @otherwild, a small, queer woman-owned business with no credit to the history of this shirt which was JUST featured in the @nytimes. Everyone else, if you want one of the shirts, really support the cause and buy it from www.otherwild.com." — Women's Center for Creative Work
"I love u Cara but u gotta give @otherwild credit this was not ur idea" — littlegayegg
Otherwild admitted that it doesn't actually own the copyright on the design.
You can see a screenshot of the now-deleted comment, below.
Others posts soon followed, showing support for Otherwild — including lesbian culture Instagram h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y.
👎Unfortunate turn of events👎 @caradelevingne is remaking and reselling #thefutureisfemale shirts. #Otherwild worked extra hard to make sure everyone involved was credited, from the designer/photographer @lizacowan who took the photo in 1975, which inspired the present day #thefutureisfemale shirt to #herstory IG. 👉SHARE/REPOST, HELP US. It appears that Cara Delevingne @caradelevingne decided to rip-off #Otherwild without permission or notice and is making #thefutureisfemale items herself. She has not informed her 20mil+ followers that she got the #thefutureisfemale sweatshirt from Otherwild even though there was an article in the NY Times about her receiving it from her girlfriend St. Vincent from OW just 2 weeks ago. She decides to ignore this fact by dishonestly stating on Instagram: "A lot of you have been asking for one of these – so I decided to put them up for sale, with proceeds going to Girl Up." No politics, ethics or regard for the legal tenets, No sense of shame. No regard for feminist, queer-owned small business. This is how you support a cause? This is not the female future. Please go to Delevigne's Insta account and tell her to CUT the SHIT ---> Please share this msg./support #Otherwild
Delevingne replied in her own comments section, noting that Otherwild did not create the slogan.
The phrase "the future is female" dates back to at least 1975 and Otherwild is not the first to use it. That said, Delevingne had been given a shirt designed by Otherwild bearing the exact phrase.
Neither Delevingne nor Otherwild responded to a request for comment at press time.
OPENER IMAGE: Richard Young/REX Shutterstock.