MISSGUIDED has been accused of “blatantly” copying the design of black-owned business with one of their latest swimsuits.
The fashion retailer was branded “beyond lazy” by furious shoppers, who spotted similarities between their design and that of independent label, DestinationSwimwear.
Fans of the brand also pointed out that Missguided claim to stand for “diversity and equality”, while appearing to have taken inspiration the work of DesintationSwimwear’s black owner, Racquel Simone.
Missguided today said they “strongly deny” the allegation and “no element” of the DestinationSwimwear look was used in the design, which Missguided say they began putting together in March 2019.
Photos posted online show the resemblance between Missguided’s £10 Orange Leopard One Shoulder swimsuit and DestinationSwimwear’s £60 “Palm Springs” suit.
Both feature the very similar purple and orange animal print pattern, as well as an asymmetrical shoulder.
While Missguided’s bathing suit features a cut-out portion which is not featured on the “original”, both swimsuits also feature an on-trend high leg design and thong fit at the back.
Racquel says she “deserves recognition” for her design, which she began designing in February 2019 and launched in March 2019.
She became aware of the similarity after a friend called out Missguided on social media for their alleged copying.
@eyesNikki tweeted on Saturday saying: “A friend of mine has her own bikini line and posted this today!
“@Missguided clearly ran out of creativity and had to look at a smaller business.
“Support Destinationswimwear, a black owned business, instead of Missguided.”
Her thoughts have been echoed by many social media users.
Myasia Bradshaw quoted the tweet, saying: “Don’t make me cancel Missguided. Is it that hard to come up with your own designs?
“If you have to look at other black artists for inspiration that’s one thing.
“But having the balls to copy the exact suit is so grimy and weak. At least ask if you can use it.”
Chantelle Afia added: “This is beyond lazy, they literally just took scissors to one side and said ‘buy it’.
Kat Miriam said: “Theirs look cheap and ugly compared to hers. Y’all gotta stop copying people’s hard work and creativity because you make yourself and your business look bad.”
And Ola Zainab fumed: “These brands come out saying how much they support BLM and do s*** like this.”
Speaking today, Racquel, who is based in Brooklyn, New York said: “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the reaction to the tweet, I didn’t think it would get this much traction.
“This also has happened before with another brand taking one of my designs.
“I try not to let it affect me, because I do know that imitation is a form of flattery but at the same time I work hard as a creative and deserve recognition.
“A few of my friends have messaged Missguided about it, they said they have seen the messages but have not responded.”
A Missguided spokesman said: “We strongly deny this claim.
“This product was designed in-house by Missguided and launched in March 2019. The orange and blue leopard print version launched later in the Summer of 2019.
“There are several clear differences in the design of the Missguided product. No element of the Destination Swimwear product has been copied at any stage of the Missguided design process.”