Balenciaga has a bit of explaining to do; again. The luxury house is being accused of lifting designs off an independent clothing line.
As per Blavity budding creative Lamont “Tory” Stapleton called out the Paris, France company for taking his signature look. On Thursday, August 25 he took to social media to explain his allegation.
“At the start of 2019, after losing a friend to a long battle with addiction, I released a line called Struggle is Common. My goal was to remind people that they’re not alone and to encourage them to face their problems head on if they truly wish to be FREE” he wrote. “Days after releasing a black crewneck with FREE across the chest in a varsity font, I wore it to an extremely private birthday party in Los Angeles. In attendance were some of the most famous people in the World, as well as some of the most influential names in the fashion industry and beyond. I had fuckin blast. Throughout the evening I received several compliments and had more than a few conversations about the meaning behind my sweatshirt.”
He went on to detail how he was alerted that Balenciaga appropriated the concept.
“Fast forward to August 2021, a bunch of people began tagging me in a Vanity Fair video which featured Diddy, now known as LOVE, wearing what they knew to be my design” he added. “While everyone was congratulating me, I was scratching my head with confusion. Shortly after, I was sent a video of Da Baby wearing the shirt. Then Puerto Rican rapper Anuel. At this point it became apparent that someone had clearly “borrowed” my design, but I had no idea who.”
Stapleton then asked for a formal chat with the brand to get to the bottom of the supposed thievery. “I say all that to say, if anyone knows anyone at Balenciaga, can you please have them reach out to me. We need to have a conversation”.
So far Balenciaga has yet to publicly acknowledge the allegation.