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No Fear No Favour

Is House of Dior really plagiarizing the Indian prints?

It’s not new when artists, writers, bloggers and many others, become the victim of plagiarism in this online and digital world. But what if the leading fashion magazine itself takes the route of plagiarism instead of investing their profit in research and development department, or hiring talented designers to produce their original work? Eh! That’s where the major money goes into, and they don’t want to cut their profit. So, the last resort? Plagiarism.

It all started with the when Elle magazine released its January 2018 issue about 3 weeks ago, featuring Fashionista Sonam Kapoor on the cover.

As always, Sonam Kapoor looks superbly ravishing and bubbly on the cover page of the magazine, but what attracted the attention is the pattern on her dress by Christian Dior creation that had a distinctly desi touch to it.

Designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri, the cotton dress was part of a Dior’s Cruise 2018 collection and made it runway debut last year in Calabasas, California.

The controversy took a new turn from here. The dress that Sonam Kapoor wore is, however, is allegedly similar to, if not the same, block print design created years ago by People Tree.

Founded in 1990, the collective of artists and designers sells handcrafted cotton clothing, jewellery and accessories that are made using natural and biodegradable materials.

Gurpreet Sidhu, one of the co-founders of the fair trade studio store, tolda Quartz publication that their original design has been produced for over 15-years assisted by Rajasthani block printers who struggle to maintain a sustainable livelihood. Only 100 to 200 of these pieces are created every year and are sold for around Rs 1,500 each, which is a lot lesser than what the French luxury giant will charge for its commercialised version.

Though copying designs is not unheard of in the fashion industry, the repercussions of this alleged move are what make it particularly offensive.

“The main part of why People Tree exists is to give voice to creativity within India,” Sidhu said.

If the accusations are true, then, it makes Dior’s act absolutely impertinent, and what’s worse is that an Indian Celebrity unknowingly condoned it.

Co-founder Orijit Sen’s original Facebook post on January 23rd has garnered a lot of support from the online community and People Tree is now consulting a lawyer.

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