Do fashion brands steal designs?

Do fashion brands steal designs?

Plagiarism is a big problem in the fashion world. Not only do big brands “get inspired” by independent small ones – the ideas overall tend to travel from one fashion show to another. This tendency sets the question, what can we actually call plagiarism? Everyone uses the same references and answers to the same public demand, etc. We still argue about who invented the mini skirt or the bikini, though they were the clothes that matched the zeitgeist. Nevertheless, design stealing scandals still emerge from time to time, and they’re interesting to discuss. Keep scrolling!

Maison Kimhekim accused Valentino of plagiarism. In the Couture Fall 2023 collection, the brand noticed that Valentino not only plagiarized their ballet flats (the shoes actually do look almost identical) but they copied the glasses, too. But here’s the catch: we can as well accuse Maison Kimhekim of stealing the design since it actually originates from the legendary Saint Laurent Jerry glasses.

Haider Ackermann was also accused of stealing. The designer was the creative director for the Spring 2023 Couture collection of Jean Paul Gaultier, and Jurgi Persoons, a young graduate of the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts, noticed the cropped version of the jacket he created being a part of the collection. 

The Arny Praht case was the other way around: the big brand accused the small Russian brand of plagiarism. Coperni exposed the stealing of their iconic handbag design by writing a comment on the Arny Praht social media account, “It’s a Coperni bag!”

This scandal wasn’t the only one. The representatives of the Russian brand stated that they had never heard of Coperni. Do you believe it? :)

Designer Shalva Nikvashvili accused Daniel Roseberry, the creative director of Schiaparelli, of plagiarism. He pointed out that bags from the FW2021 collection looked too much like his creations. Schiaparelli didn’t comment on the accusations.

Fashion designers know the common truth: if you come up with something, you better make sure Alexander McQueen didn’t create it first. This truth justified itself during the Dior Men Spring 2024 show. Some were amazed at how the models emerged from underneath the runway. Some instantly recalled the Givenchy 1999 show staged by McQueen – the show had the same highlight. It was even more innovative and creative since the models were replaced with dress forms. This trick was later taken by Maison Margiela.

Looking through trendbooks, getting inspired by other successful and talented people is absolutely okay. Just make sure your signature style and vision show through. As to stylish designs, you can always find modern sewing patterns at

Find more posts about stylists and fashion designers:

Stylists who dress your favorite celebrities

Mary Quant, Mini Cooper, and mini skirts

5 spectacular collabs between artists and fashion designers