Stealing from Black designers is an unfortunate truth within the fashion industry. Anifa Mvuemba, founder of and designer at Hanifa, took to Twitter to say that one of her most popular designs has been ripped off by a fast fashion brand.
“Only because this sample took me monthssss to perfect. This is actually crazy. I’m not going to tag or mention them. But this is crazy,” she wrote in a now-viral tweet, keeping the copycat’s name under wraps.
Mvuemba shared snaps of the copy on the fast fashion site, and compared them to pictures of the original dress, named the Jax Knit Gown, on Hanifa’s website. They’re nearly identical.
Only because this sample took me monthssss to perfect. This is actually crazy. I’m not going to tag or mention them. But this is crazy. pic.twitter.com/GDZQg6vTBK
— + (@AnifaM) August 29, 2022
Viewers rushed to Hanifa’s side in the comments.
“Yours >>> thank you for always carrying my size,” one user wrote.
Yours >>> thank you for always carrying my size 🤍 pic.twitter.com/Ejcr20C3xk
— Bri Obaseki (@bri_obaseki) August 29, 2022
“I just don’t understand how fast fashion brands continously do this thinking they can get away with it. It’s a slap in the face and you can/should sue them,” another added.
One viewer argued the copy doesn’t come close to the original.
“This is bullshit. And not even close to your beautiful art,” they wrote.
This is bullshit. And not even close to your beautiful art
— DAWN (@DawnRichard) August 29, 2022
“What do people get out of posting brands that have copied them?” a critic asked.
Another was ready to come for the copycat designer.
“At what time do we riot???” they asked.
At what time do we riot???
— MBali 💫 (@TheJessieWoo) August 29, 2022
It looks like the copycat is Fashion Nova, which describes its design as the “Sahar Sweater Maxi Dress.” The brand is selling the dress for $49.99 — a significant markdown from Hanifa’s $459.00 price tag. The original version of the dress on Hanifa is currently sold out.