Earlier this week, we brought you a preview of Sami Miro's capsule collaboration with Forever 21, called For the Lost. It features a barbed wire motif reminiscent of trendy early '00s T-shirts (not to mention those '90s tattoos). Another designer thinks they remind her of something more recent: her designs, which she says she shared with Miro.
"SO: I contacted sami miro in June to gift her some pieces from @freckledace , she accepted," wrote Freckled Ace designer Betsy Johnson (no, not that Betsey Johnson) on Instagram Friday. "I was very excited to see her in the collection. However @samimiro new collection with @forever21 is at the very least very similar."
Freckled Ace's collection is "THORN," not barbed wire, and its shirts are a cropped black mesh tank and one-shouldered white tank, as opposed to the black, white, and red tanks, skirts and sweatshirts available at Forever 21.
In an email to Refinery29, Miro said she had been working on this collection since March, long before Johnson contacted her in June.
"A project in this capacity doesn't happen in just a couple months," Miro wrote. "The designs were inspired by vintage t-shirts with barbed wire prints and [Pamela Anderson's] very iconic tattoo. I feel really terrible that she feels I took anything from her because she's super talented. I would never ever, ever steal someone's designs and understand the pain myself as many, many large brands have 'stolen' my signature denim/mesh bodysuits. But again, the timeline doesn't add up. I have been working on this since March."
In her Instagram post, Johnson wrote that Forever 21 and Miro have ignored her and blocked her account for accusing them of stealing her designs. Now others have flooded the brand's Instagram with the hashtag #boycottforever21.
Johnson joins a prestigious list of designers who have accused the retailer of intellectual property theft. Adidas and Gucci sued the company for its use of stripes that the brands say are too similar to their trademarks. Wildfang called it out for copying its popular "Wild Feminist" T-shirts. Even Frank Ocean got in on the act when a store used a font quite similar to the one on his Blonde album.
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