Forget fast fashion.
There’s something that moves even quicker and is far trashier: fashion drama. And boy, thissa doozy.
Just last week, the world’s most sartorially-savage blog, Diet Prada, gave Kanye West a spray. In a post on Instagram, they noted a number of striking similarities between his recent Yeezy campaign and a 2015 series of photographs by artist Rita Minissi:
Another day, another Kanye rip. The just released Yeezy Season 6 campaign lensed by @elirusselllinnetz bears a striking similarity to this 2015 series by @thingspowerthemselves . It’s pretty messed up when you consider the original work by Rita Minissi explores identity and was inspired by dealing with personal trauma and a resulting desire to reconnect with her own body. Will Kanye own up to it this time, or will he be blaming others like he did with the Tony Spackman sketch not so long ago? Lol • #yeezy #kanye #kanyewest #ritaminissi #art #photography #model #pose #neutrals #sneakers #hypebeast #hypebae #snobshots #athleisure #leggings #bikeshorts #sweats #sweatshirt #wiwt #ootd #dietprada
“Another day, another Kanye rip,” the post begins (side note – is Dan Humphrey writing these captions? Xoxo).
They go on to explain that the copycat images are “pretty messed up when you consider the original work by Rita Minissi explores identity and was inspired by dealing with personal trauma and a resulting desire to reconnect with her own body.”
“Will Kanye own up to it this time, or will he be blaming others like he did with the Tony Spackman sketch not so long ago?” they speculated.
And so far, nah, he hasn’t. But the artist behind the original work has.
In an exclusive statement to Refinery29, Minissi explained that she was upset by the situation but more concerned with what it says about the state of industry in general.
“Although I am deeply distressed by this exploitation, the greater issue here is that a large corporate entity is profiting off of years of labor from a self-funded artist by turning something cathartic into capital; attempting to steal the truth of an individual without consequences,” the artist said.
“This is not an isolated instance, to the corporate entity in question or to the industry as a whole.”
Minissi was quick to explain that the issue was not a personal one, and that she has supported West and his sartorial endeavours for some time. To add insult to injury, she reckons if she’d been contacted, she would have been keen to collaborate.
Most alarmingly though, is the fact that she’s been on the receiving end of vitriol from West’s fans.
“I am an intensely private person excessively outside of my comfort zone right now,” her statement read.
“A painful personal trauma is defining my identity in news media, while I receive hateful messages from strangers when I’ve done nothing wrong and never desired to be at the center [sic] of a public spectacle.”
“Undoubtedly, this situation is not solely significant to me and my story, but to all other artists/creatives who have endured a similar ethical offence.”
West is still yet to address the drama – but when he does, you can be sure Diet Prada and associates will be all over it like the rabid wearables watchdog that they are.
Image: @ritaminissi / Instagram