Update: Late Tuesday, Fashion Nova responded to Kim Kardashian's rant with the following statement to TMZ:
"Fashion Nova is an ultra-fast fashion brand that is capable of executing design within hours and believes in fairness in pricing. We strive to offer our customers affordable leading trends. We respect the fashion community and work with a variety of vendors, designers, influencers and celebrities to keep our style offering fresh and relevant.
Kim Kardashian-West is one of the top fashion icons in the world that our customers draw inspiration from. However, we have not worked with Kim Kardashian-West directly on any of her projects but have been driven by her influential style."
Last February, Fashion Nova's CEO Richard Saghian told WWD, the retailer could have samples in just 24 hours after the product's conception. Once ready, the items are shot on any of the models on-call in its office, and the finished product goes up on the site in one to two weeks. Hm.
Could this all just be one well-timed coincidence?
This story was originally published February 19, 2019.
After the rapper spent her victorious Grammys 2019 night decked out in vintage Thierry Mugler, Kardashian opted to attend this past Saturday's Hollywood Beauty Awards in New York City in another Mugler dress — one that defied gravity. It didn't take long until Fashion Nova created its own version, fueling rumors the reality star, like Cardi, was working with the fast fashion brand. If you recall, Fashion Nova also dropped their own version of Kylie Jenner's birthday outfits just hours after she posted them on Instagram.
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UPDATE: See stories for a screenshot of the date of the Capture One session (it’s labeled 02-14-19). Fashion Nova Mugler knockoff shot 4 days before Kim wore it on 02/18/19. Kim, you’ll never fess up to your sneaky lil collaborations, but we got all the receipts 😎. • ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ At some point recently, a fast fashion photo shoot happened featuring a vintage Mugler dress that @kimkardashian just happened to wear on Sunday night to the Hollywood Beauty Awards...and yes, it appears to be a real dress, not photoshop. Ahead of Fashion Nova releasing the dress at 9pm EST tonight, house model Yodit Yemane may or may not have accidentally leaked a story 2.5 hours earlier of photo options from her shoot featuring the Mugler replica. The file names were even labeled “Kim dress” while it’s now being called “Winning Beauty Cut Out Gown” lol. This begs the question: Did Fashion Nova whip up the dress overnight in their Los Angeles atelier after seeing Kim in it or is she peddling her vintage finds to mass retailers ahead of debuting them for a calculated, timely release? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • 📷 : Getty • #kimkardashian #mugler #thierrymugler #manfredthierrymugler #bodycon #cutout #barelythere #strappy #straps #black #vintage #dress #velvet #fashionnova #wiwt #ootd #kuwtk #hollywood #beauty #kkwbeauty #kardashian #ecommerce #shady #smh #photoshoot #model #fashionmodel #dietprada
Fashion watchdog account Diet Prada then pointed out that Fashion Nova, as seen in a leaked photo shoot, labeled a lookalike gown as "Kim dress" hours before Kardashian's post. But the files were quickly renamed "Winning Beauty Cut Out Gown." The question was, then, did Kardashian work with Fashion Nova on a timely, calculated drop?
She took to social media on Tuesday to say no. "It's devastating to see these fashion companies rip off designs that have taken the blood, sweat, and tears of true designers who have put their all into their own original ideas," she tweeted. "I've watched these companies profit off of my husband's work for years and now that it's affecting designers who have been so generous to give me access to their beautiful works, I can no longer sit silent," she continued.
North West's mother continued to vent, writing: "Only two days ago, I was privileged enough to wear a one-of-a-kind vintage Mugler dress, and in less than 24 hours it was knocked off and thrown up on a site — but it's not for sale. You have to sign up for a waitlist because the dress hasn’t even been made to sell yet."
She accused Fashion Nova of exploiting the opportunity to "get people to sign up for their mailing list and make people believe there is some kind of relationship between me and this fashion site," but clarified she is not working with the brand. "My relationships with designers are very important to me," she said. "It's taken me over a decade to build them and I have a huge amount of respect for the amount of work that they put into bringing their ideas to life."
She continued: "I often plan for weeks, sometimes months, and even a year in advance, and I’m grateful for every fashion moment those designers and their dresses have helped me create." Finally, she implored her followers to ignore the rumors. "So, as always, don’t believe everything you read and see online. I don’t have any relationships with these sites. I’m not leaking my looks to anyone, and I don’t support what these companies are doing."
It didn't take long for observers on Twitter to clap back at the divisive E! star with rebuttals of their own.
This is how it feels to be a black woman. This is how it feels to have your body type worn and appreciated only on women like you. This is how it feels when your sister puts on and wears features of a black woman for profit. Welcome to the real world.— Paige (@paigeai) February 19, 2019