Diet Prada: Instagram's designer copycat police
Inspiration or copy? Internet users are being asked to make the decision. The topic is being presented by Diet Prada, an Instagram account which has made design comparisons its thing, highlighting publicly the lack of originality from certain designers in naming (and shaming) the most obvious copycats seen on the recent runways.
Falling prey: Tom Ford being 'accused' of taking inspiration from Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquière era; Moschino riffs on Dior's Galliano days with an almost perfect haute-couture dress replica; and Vogue magazine's imitation of Acne Studios police via one of the publication's invitations.
The minds behind the account were revealed by the website The Fashion Law as Tony Liu, a graduate of the Beaux-Arts Art Institute in Chicago (and designer of his own men's capsule collection launched some years ago), and co-founder Lindsey Schuyler, also a designer for the FGXI brand (part of the Luxottica-Essilor group).
Deriving its name from the admiration the pair both have for the Italian brand of the name same, describing Prada as "a house that has always been at the forefront of innovation and creativity," Diet Prada launched in 2014, after the duo scoured Style.com for weeks.
With burning commentaries, each Diet Prada post triggers comments from a slew of internat users, and even the designers themselves sometimes. That's the case with Dolce & Gabbana, known for responding directly to their critics.
While Diet Prada does not quite attract the same number of followers as Loïc Prigent (it has 57,000 followers compared the fashion journalist's 80,000), the account's success highlights the support of new forms of fashion criticism, much like that of the documentary maker Prigent.
Diet Prada is hoping "to shake up a frankly monotone industry, to evoke questions and especially show that creativity should be first priority."
"We are modernising the criticism business, without submitting to any advertiser. A principle that allows to be as free as possible and to say what we really think, " said the founders recently on the site, Thecut.com.
Recently, Diet Prada inked a collaboration with Italian label Gucci, entrusting the pair temporarily with the direction of its Instagram account. The partnership managed to spark some criticism of its own, the founders defending themselves saying they value "the interesting angle taken by the brand, the humour of Alessandro Michele and the idea of being taken seriously as a 'valid' voice in the fashion industry."
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