2 Indie Designers Accuse Forever 21 of Ripping Off the Tee They Created for Charity

Lead Photo: Left, WORD Agency. Right, Forever 21
Left, WORD Agency. Right, Forever 21
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On Friday, fast fashion brand Forever 21 found itself embroiled in controversy. Just as independent artist Ilse Valfré accused the company of stealing her work, Angela Carrasco and Zoila Darton have called out the brand for releasing a shirt that’s nearly identical to one they created. Carrasco and Darton, who founded Los Angeles based public relations agency WORD, created the shirt in July to raise money for Planned Parenthood, according to Jezebel. 25 percent of sales from each shirt went to the organization, which is important as PP has faced threats of defunding this year.

The shirt in question features the word woman written in nine different languages. On Instagram, Darton noted that F21 removed the word in Swahili, Japanese, Arabic, and Hebrew. Both women found themselves confused when they saw the Forever 21 tee. “Maybe they want to capitalize off of feminism,” Darton told Jezebel. “But feminism is not new to me, it’s something that I really believe, so to see it being co-opted this way is shocking.”

The original tee was supposed to benefit Planned Parenthood, but Forever 21, which has a much bigger platform than WORD, will now benefit from their hard work and their experiences. Carrasco has contacted Forever 21, and through WORD, they may take legal action. As some reaffirm their support for WORD (you can buy the original shirt here), others are taking to social media to call out Forever 21.