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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Fashion chain removes bag from sale after being accused of copying black-owned brand design

Not only were they found to have the same shape but also featured a similar logo

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
April 1, 2021 8:00:45 pm
tote bagDiet Prada took to Instagram to point out the similarities between the black-owned brand Telfar's tote bag (left) and the Guess bag. (Source: diet_prada/Instagram)

Fashion chain Guess has been accused of copying black-owned independent brand Telfar’s handbag design.

Telfar’s vegan leather bag, designed by Liberian-American founder Telfar Clemens won the Design Museum’s 2020 fashion design award, reported The Independent. The bag is recognised by its circular-shaped ‘TC’ Telfar logo on the front, rigid rectangular shape, and two sets of straps of varying lengths.

In fact, the bag, nicknamed ‘Bushwick Birkin’ after the Brooklyn neighbourhood and Hermes Birkin bag, has won appreciation from several celebrities like Bella Hadid, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Oprah Winfrey, and Dua Lipa.

Fashion-based account Diet Prada recently shared two side-by-side images of the Telfar and Guess bag, to draw attention to the similarities. Not only were they found to have the same shape, but the Guess bag also featured a circular logo and is made of faux leather.

“While the design is admittedly simple, that Guess appears to have duplicated nearly every element there is to duplicate, is more than a little suspicious,” Diet Prada shared on Instagram.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada)

“For a brand who usually has a triangle logo, for a big “G” to suddenly turn up in a bold circle… plus the double handles, and the fact that both bags come in 3 sizes. Even the prices aren’t that far off, the small Telfar is $150 when the Guess mini tote is $109 AUD (when it’s not on markdown),” it further pointed out.

Antoine Gregory, fashion director and founder of Black Fashion Fair, also shared his disappointment on Twitter. “I think the most annoying and yet interesting part of this is the fact that a company like GUESS has the capital and resources to produce this bag in great quantities when the original designer could not. And it really just speaks to the lack of access granted to Black designers. The lack of capital. The lack of resources the industry provides them.”

Guess has now withdrawn the tote bag from sale. “Signal Brands, the handbag licensee of Guess, Inc., has voluntarily halted the sale of its G-Logo totes. Some on social media have compared the totes to Telfar Global’s shopping bags. Signal Brands does not wish to create any impediments to Telfar Global’s success and, as such, has independently decided to stop selling the G-logo totes,” it said in a statement to Independent.

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