Cara Delevingne Accused Of Ripping Off “Small, Queer, Feminist-Owned” Business

The supermodel may have landed herself in a boiling pot of copyright infringement.

It’s difficult to imagine Cara Delevingne’s millions of fans turning on her, but ripping off an independent feminist shop seems to have drawn a line in the sand. The model is being accused of stealing a sweatshirt design from Rachel Berks' brand, Otherwild. The crewneck sweaters in question don the slogan "The Future Is Female" across the front. After Delevingne posted an Instagram picture announcing she planned to sell the sweatshirts, the model's comment section lit up with accusations of design theft. The sweaters originated at NYC's "first feminist bookshop," Labyris Books, and were popularized by photographer, Lisa Cowan. Designer Rachel Berks claims that Delevingne had actually purchased the (copyright-protected) sweatshirt from Otherwild and is in turn selling an identical sweater but donating all profits to Girl's Up! charity.

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Berks, in an email statement to The FADER, wrote, "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". Delevingne has responded via Instagram comment that Otherwild does not own the design. Stay tuned to see where the story goes.

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.

A photo posted by OTHERWILD (@otherwild) on

Cara Delevingne Accused Of Ripping Off “Small, Queer, Feminist-Owned” Business