And so the story (sadly) goes: Once an up-and-coming brand achieves a certain level of ubiquity among the street-style crowd — despite occupying a mostly-prohibitive price point — it's only a matter of time before an eerily similar aesthetic appears in the "new arrivals" section of popular fast-fashion retailers. It label Attico, the brainchild of already frequently-photographed former editors Giorgia Tordini and Gilda Ambrosio, was destined for such success almost as soon as it launched in February 2016. And, a little over a year since it debuted, it appears to already be embroiled in its own rip-off back-and-forth.
Over the weekend, Tordini and Ambrosio both reposted a side-by-side of the embroidered silk Elena dress from Attico's spring '17 collection next to a similar mini from Mango's latest collection on their personal Instagram Stories. (The former retails for $1,870, while the latter is being sold for $79.99.) Both feature long, flared sleeves, are fashioned out of off-white material with black piping accents, and are decorated with a prominent Orientalist graphic in the front — which adds a whole other layer to this conversation on appropriation.
The collaged image comes from @rosa_h_f, an account that extensively documents designer rip-offs of varying degrees of impropriety. While this appears to be the first time an alleged Attico copy comes to the attention of the brand's designers, a quick scroll through the aforementioned profile paints a pretty discouraging picture of how pervasive these knock-offs are in retail. (A wrap gown from its fall '16 collection, for instance, is highlighted alongside a similar Zara style on the page.) A representative for Attico declined to comment for this story.
Mango, meanwhile, has been on the receiving end of legal action for its copycat designs. Isabel Marant won a copyright case against the Spanish retailer in a French court in March of last year, The Fashion Law reported, over the brand's fall '13 Scarlet boot design — a case that, the author notes, might've played out differently had it been argued in the U.S. We've reached out to Mango for comment on the Attico designers' accusations, and will update our story when we hear back.
See (and compare) the two dresses, below.