Fashion copycats beware. There's a collective on social media checking out whether wares are original enough to withstand scrutiny... or else! It's called "Diet Prada" and has a network of followers that's almost half a million strong, spurred on by some movers and shakers including Naomi Campbell and Gigi Hadid.
Right now, Diet Prada doesn't have an office or location, so to speak. It exists only as an Instagram account. But so far the active voices online have already taken issue with some big league types like Kim Kardashian, who was questioned over why her kiddie ware line resembled such designs as Vetements and Comme des Garçons. The celebrity backpedaled, claiming they weren't copycats at all, but tributes to those designs. In more severe cases, a posting has spurred retailers to pull wardrobe lines off shelves.
Participants post alleged copycats online right next to a similar item already on the market, enabling viewers to remark on the similarities. And in many cases, that's all it takes for the rest of the fashion industry to react. Diet Prada also pursues other breaches in the business, such as abuse that goes on with staff and models, cultural appropriation and even the lack of diversity when it comes to gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation.
Diet Prada emerged as an initiative by fashionista bloggers Tony Liu and Lindsay Schuyler, in response to a number of complaints of copycat designs hitting the market. These included Gucci's apparent rip-off of a 1980's Dapper Dan look, previously worn by Olympian Diane Dixon, who blew the whistle on Gucci in an Instagram post last year. And earlier this year, designer Vivienne Westwood was taken to task over emulating the look of works by Brit designers Rottingdean Bazaar and Louise Gray.
The venture started off as a lark for Liu and Schuyler, but given the emerging callout culture movement, Instagram users have jumped aboard the Diet Prada bandwagon in droves. Participants who find examples worth looking into are rewarded with the distinction of being called "dieters". Those who call out really big fish in the industry are bestowed with "star dieter" titles.
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