In an ironic twist of fate, proud feministCara Delevingne is taking business away from a woman-owned company after allegedly stealing one of its designs and using it on her own shirts.
The model-turned-actress, who is currently selling sweatshirts reading “The Future Is Female” for charity, has been accused by Los Angeles shop Otherwild for using their artwork without permission. The store argues that Delevingne, 23, is selling sweatshirts with the same design as Otherwild’s apparel. To make matters worse, Otherwild claims Delevingne is aware of their work as her girlfriend, musician Annie Clark (A.K.A. St. Vincent) recently purchased two of their “The Future Is Female” shirts.
Rachel Berks, the owner of Otherwild, writes in a statement on Instagram alongside a comparison of their two shirts:
I took down my post yesterday about #thefutureisfemale controversy, because the negative commentary was overwhelming me, but I wanted to share my thoughts and this image which shows #Otherwild’s sweatshirt on the left, and @caradelevingne’s identical version on the right. 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.
The line “The Future Is Female” was first seen in a photo of musician Alix Dobkin wearing a shirt showed the slogan in a different font written in blue. Though Otherwild doesn’t own the right to the slogan and has recreated the shirt using a different font and colors, the store argues that Delevingne’s recreation barely diverged from their design — therefore violating copyright law.
In one of Delevingne’s Instagram posts hawking the sweater, the British starlet has edited her caption and tagged Otherwild. However, the product page to Delevingne’s product still lacks credit, though it specifies that “*all* proceeds” from every shirt sold will “support Girl Up’s campaign to promote the health, safety, and education of girls in developing countries.”
Otherwild is currently donating 25 percent of the proceeds from their “The Future Is Female” line to Planned Parenthood.