Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
It's one thing when a retailer takes a cue from the market to create their own interpretations of the latest trends, but it's an entirely different game when an esteemed fashion house blatantly rips off a very specific design by an indie artist. Back in 2013, we introduced you to Kesh, a then-27-year-old British expat who designed a capsule collection of graphic black-and-white clothing and accessories for American Apparel featuring a series of self-portraits. The collab was an instant global success, and even inspired some fakes in Asia. Now, Kesh has fallen victim to another copycat: legendary Italian luxury label Versace.
Yesterday, the artist discovered Versace's Medusa T-shirt priced at a whopping $650 on Selfridges & Co. (image above), which is strikingly similar to the Kesh X American Apparel Face Le New Big Tee going for $50 (image below). The most notable duplication can be seen in the eyes, down to the geometric bottom lashes. Pretty crazy.
Versace has yet to speak up, but Kesh had this to say to the The Cut: "I have always had a deep admiration for Versace. It's an iconic brand that has stood the test of time. I am deeply disappointed in this. This is not only artwork from a show that took me two years to develop and create. It is not only artwork from a collection that I created for American Apparel to provide something affordable and accessible to supporters of my work. But this is also my face! I can't understand how something like this could happen."