Doja Cat is joining the fight against fast fashion by starting a Twitter feud with Forever 21. The pop star called out the retailer for allegedly stealing a necklace design from independent label OHTNYC.
\u201cStop fucking stealing from small businesses it\u2019s pathetic. These people are my friends and all y\u2019all do is leech. Do better how fucking embarrassing. @Forever21\u201d— spooky cat (@spooky cat) 1663990086
Though Forever 21 has since taken the listing down, their “Cross Pendant Faux Pearl Necklace” bears a striking resemblance to OHTNYC’s “Silver Cross Pearl Necklace,” which the small label has been selling since January 2021. The company, known for their uniquely androgynous and bold jewelry, publicly exposed the major retailer’s lookalike by posting side-by-side photos of the statement pieces.
“@forever21 take accountability!” OHTNYC wrote in the caption. “It is deeply unfortunate to have to make this announcement, but as a small business, seeing large corporations steal from smaller artists time and time again for profit is extremely disheartening.”
In contrast to Forever 21’s $12.99 copy, OHTNYC defends their higher price tag. “Each of our items are designed with utmost detail, and we create all of our designs with love and care," the brand said. "So it’s sad to see our design, which we began making by hand in New York for almost two years, reduced to a mass produced copy most likely made in unethical, fast fashion sweat shops.”
Ultimately, Forever 21 is far from the only major fashion company to come under fire for allegedly exploiting the work of independent designers, and Doja Cat and OHTNYC are attempting to spread awareness about the all-too-common practice of large retailers capitalizing on the labor of small artists without permission.
Photography courtesy of Billy Farrell/BFA