To be a designer on a market that moves as fast as the fashion calendar means constantly racking your brain for new ideas. And when certain trends go viral — i.e. chokers, white sneakers, culottes — an increase in demand ensues, which means everybody syncs up and starts to do the same thing. While being inspired by one another creates a bit of healthy competition, it's still not easy watching our favorite brands rip off one another, especially when it happens more often than we'd like to admit. The latest culprit? Aritzia and Outdoor Voices.
The founder of the latter, Tyler Haney, is speaking out. For another edition of its in-house labels (the retailer carries both in-house lines and other well-known brands), Aritzia has produced at least four pieces (under its label, The Constant) that bear an all-too-similar resemblance to OV's signatures silhouettes, colors, and fabrics. The two really only differ (slightly) in price, though both remain within the same range — all under-$100.
"It's been surprising to see other companies coming out with designs that are so close to ours — especially styles that have been a core part of OV since day one, like our Warmup Leggings and Running Women Sweats. While the silhouettes and paneling might look really similar online, our quality and materials have always been something that defines our product. Our clothes are made for sweating in," Haney told Refinery29. "When we see other brands following suit, it motivates us to keep innovating and being ourselves — it's clearly working and resonating with people. To see so many similar designs is flattering, in a way."
Flattering it may be, but disappointing nonetheless. We've seen similar controversy with fast-fashion counterparts Zara and Forever21, of course, so the entrance of Aritzia into the ring isn't exactly a surprise. And, it's certainly been interesting to see the knockoff culture move from accessories to activewear. But we can't help but wonder why and how these things still happen, especially when social media makes finding (and calling out) these instances easier than ever.
We've reached out to Aritzia for comment and will update this story when we hear back.