Artist Kesh Plans to Sue Versace for Plagiarizing Her Designs

Fans of the popular Los Angeles-based artist took to social media on Monday to express their outrage.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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Fans of the popular Los Angeles-based artist took to social media on Monday to express their outrage.
Kesh x American Apparel. Photo: Kesh

Kesh x American Apparel. Photo: Kesh

Every so often we get tipped off about an emerging designer's work getting plagiarized by a much more established fashion house, but these instances don't often cause a widespread uproar on social media. Such was the case on Monday evening, when an image of a t-shirt from the latest Versace collection went viral due to its similarity to a design that Los Angeles-based artist Kesh created for American Apparel back in 2013. 

The black and white graphic "Face Le New" tee (see above) from Kesh's capsule collection for the retailer was popular among the downtown crowd, and both Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne were photographed wearing it shortly after its original release. Recently, the shockingly similar "Medusa" tee from Versace's spring 2015 collection hit Selfridge's website, with an almost identical rendering of a face, though Versace updated its version with the brand's iconic Greek key pattern at the top and bottom. The product copy for the piece reads: "Versace’s flair for contemporary prints can be seen with this statement t-shirt ...  featuring Medusa’s head printed on the front," which Kesh and her team found particularly troubling, because her version is meant to be a self-portrait, featuring her own face.

Versace's tee is on sale now (and sold out in most sizes) for a staggering $650, while the American Apparel version sold for $50 when it was available. According to a release, Kesh plans to legally pursue the issue — and rightfully so, if you ask us. We've reached out to Versace for comment, and will update as soon as we hear back.

A Versace spring 2015 t-shirt. Photo: Selfridges

A Versace spring 2015 t-shirt. Photo: Selfridges