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Just one day after we highlighted Otherwild for its fantastic selection of mystic hippie holiday offerings, the cult-favorite Echo Park shop is in the news—but not for what you'd think. Otherwild is sadly at the center of a controversy involving model Cara Delevingne, who has allegedly copied the store's popular "The Future Is Female" T-shirt and is now selling a sweatshirt version on custom campaign merchant Represent.
See below for Otherwild owner Rachel Berks's unedited account of the issue, as told to us late last night. Regarding legal actions, Berks says that she is "not certain what action I will take. At this point, I am looking into my options."
Read on and tell us what you think. What makes this beef so confusing is that there are as many Cara believers as there are Otherwild supporters, many of which are providing a mix of both intelligent and rather mean-spirited comments on Instagram here and here.
The slogan "The Future Is Female" originates from Jane Lurie's and Marizel Rios' Labyris Books (1972), and Otherwild used @lizacowan's image of Alix Dobkin in the shirt (1975) with permission, as originally seen on Kelly Rakowski's @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y. Otherwild's redesign and reissue of the FIF tees and buttons is protected under copyright law, which mandates that any reproduction of an existing known public work must be altered at least 20% from the original.
If model/actress Cara Delevingne wanted to sell my line, she would need to wholesale them from Otherwild, and because we donate 25% of our line's proceeds to Planned Parenthood, Delevingne's ethical practice would benefit not only our woman-owned small business but would also serve as a significant donation to PP.
Delevingne could also choose not to wholesale from Otherwild and create her own design of the slogan on clothing to sell. But Delevingne's choice to lift and manufacture Otherwild's design, claiming it as her own to sell with an undisclosed charitable offering, is indefensible. Her actions ironically counter the very message of the slogan "The Future Is Female", and it's confounding that she would do this to a small queer feminist-owned business after purchasing the product from us just a few weeks ago.
Although under pressure, Delevingne has changed the line's attribution several times in the past 24 hrs., she has not yet offered to wholesale from us nor cease and desist blatantly copying and selling our designs.