A major fashion retailer Forever 21 is once again accused of copying other people’s designs, and this time it concerns Doja Cat.
The developing jewelry brand OHTNYC is known for its futuristic Gothic-style jewelry, whose recognizable aesthetics are dominated by silver, crosses and pearls. The brand founded by Jinsol Wu is a favorite of the pop star, and Western musicians and K-Pop idols regularly demonstrate the brand’s unique design.
Over the weekend, Wu accused Forever 21 of copying OHTNYC products, in particular, the brand’s silver pearl necklace consisting of layered pearl threads with a cross pendant worn by K-Pop stars such as Karina from Aespa and Leah from Aespa. Ici.
In a statement posted on OHTNYC’s Instagram profile, the brand said that the product sold by Forever 21 “mimics” the “exact design” of the Silver Cross pearl necklace. “We have been selling our pearl cross necklace since January 2021, and recently @forever21 released a necklace with a faux pearl cross pendant that mimics our EXACT design,” the brand’s Instagram caption reads. “Our team spent several hours brainstorming, improving and bringing this design to life. Each of our items is [designed] with the smallest details, and we create all our projects with love and care.”
On September 23, Doja Cat’s tweet drew additional attention to the Forever 21 artwork, which is strikingly similar to the original design. “Stop stealing from small businesses, it’s a pity,” the artist wrote. “These people are my friends, and all you do is leech. Do better, how fucking embarrassing.” When a fan responded to the tweet, asking who Doja’s friend was so that others could share their support, the musician named the brand OHTNYC. (Doja was repeatedly seen on social networks with a sporty design from the brand.)
The fast fashion retailer’s necklace has since been taken down from the Forever 21 website, and the brand provided further clarification on the matter to Teen Vogue via email. “We sincerely regret that this happened, and we want to emphasize that we never had the intention to imitate the work of another designer,” the brand commented.
“This particular design was obtained from a third-party vendor, however, as soon as we found out about it, the product was immediately removed from our website and from stores,” Forever 21 continued. “We deeply respect and work to maintain the integrity of the design and will continue to analyze our internal processes with both our teams and and with suppliers to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”