A Nigerian-American designer accused a Brazilian Designer of Plagiarism
In hip-hop music, a level at sampling could be acceptable, but denying the obvious existence of it, in my opinion, could be termed stealing. This perception can be applied to any industry including fashion.
A Brazilian designer named Silvia Ulson was accused of stealing a bathing suit design from a Nigerian-American label. Ulson’s design was seen on the runway during Miami Swim Week, and many believe that the designs are a direct copy of looks found in the Bfyne swimwear line, specifically from their 2017 “Sahara” collection.
“It came to us as a complete surprise how another designer is allowed to showcase replicas and claim it as her work during Miami Swim Week, “ a rep for Bfyne told The Huffington Post. Some of the lifted looks included tribal-style and dashiki prints, which were showcased on white models during the runway show. Ulson also had the models wear “Native” headdresses.
After the controversy unfolded, Ulson explained that her inspiration was not stolen. Instead, she was inspired by “indigenous Brazilian culture.”
“I went to a tribe and spent two days there,” Ulson told Fashion Week Online“. That’s what we used for the headdresses…So upon returning from there, I made the black-and-white bikinis that were also shown, and thought it would be interesting to have some bikinis with prints mixing the indigenous paintings that they paint on their body. For the Brazilian Indians, each painting has a meaning.”