Complex editorial producer Emily Oberg's clothing brand Sporty & Rich is widely known for its minimal cursive logo that reads, "Sporty & Rich," which made it easy for her Twitter followers to spot a similar hoodie today that said, "Smart & Pretty," in a Forever 21 store.
"At first I was flattered," Oberg told The FADER over email. "I've had copy cats before but no one was as big as Forever 21."
Forever 21 was recently under scrutiny for releasing t-shirts that mirrored both the design and the Old English font used in Kanye West's Pablo merchandise.
After properly checking out the store's attempt to knock off her own brand, Oberg was less than impressed. "The fact that they noticed my brand was pretty cool; it was also funny how poorly executed it was," she continued. "[But] it's clear they've run out of ideas and have to resort to copying smaller brands like mine. I just wish I got a cut."
Sporty & Rich was also the target of a fashion copy-cat back in January when the brand Fresh Tops hijacked her hoodie design and used a photograph of Oberg to advertise it.
"I think the people working at these companies have run out of originality and source their ideas from Instagram and social media," Oberg told us. "And that's fine. It's okay to be inspired by something, but you need to adjust and modify it so that it's yours. What's cool about ripping off someone's ideas and selling them as your own? Unfortunately though, most people aren't in the business of being cool. They have to make sales, and surely they know they aren't a respectable company."
Despite several mentions on Instagram over the incident, Forever 21 hasn't yet reached out to Oberg. She's currently deciding whether to take legal action. "I may reconsider and have my lawyer draw up some papers. Why not? I gotta get what's owed!"
Representatives for Forever21 were not immediately available for comment.