The Artist Accusing Kanye West Of Plagiarism Speaks Out

On Sunday, fashion watchdog Diet Prada alerted its followers that more plagiarism was afoot in the Kardashian West household. “Another day, another Kanye rip,” Diet Prada captioned the Eli Russell Linnetz-photographed ad campaign for Yeezy Season 6. The duo considers the offense especially egregious because the original art by Rita Minissi was created as a statement about feeling disconnected from her own body and identity.
“Will Kanye own up to it this time, or will he be blaming others like he did with the Tony Spackman sketch not so long ago?” Diet Prada asked in the caption. The Tony Spackman incident happened in May, when West shared a photo of what he called “a YEEZY study.” It was later revealed that the drawing was created by Spackman 10 years ago when he was a designer at Nike. And while West has since apologized and fired the Yeezy employee who brought him the sketch, he has yet to say anything about the most recent allegations.
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In a statement to Refinery29, Minissi offered the following: “Although I am deeply distressed by this exploitation, the greater issue here is that a large corporate entity is profiting off of years of labor from a self-funded artist by turning something cathartic into capital; attempting to steal the truth of an individual without consequences. This is not an isolated instance, to the corporate entity in question or to the industry as a whole. .”
The artist stressed the issue was not personal and that she has supported both West and his Yeezy line for some time. Had she been contacted, Minissi stated, she would have happily collaborated.
Since the Diet Prada post, Minissi has experienced online harassment by Kanye fans. “I am an intensely private person excessively outside of my comfort zone right now,” her statement read. “A painful personal trauma is defining my identity in news media, while I receive hateful messages from strangers when I’ve done nothing wrong and never desired to be at the center of a public spectacle,” she continued. “Undoubtedly, this situation is not solely significant to me and my story, but to all other artists/creatives who have endured a similar ethical offense.”
We’ve reached out to both Yeezy and the photographer and will update this article if/when we hear back.
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