Did Philipp Plein Rip Off a VFiles Designer in His Fall Collection?

These loud fur stoles are a little too close for comfort.
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Alyssa Vingan Klein
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These loud fur stoles are a little too close for comfort.
L: Philipp Plein fall 2015, R: Hyein Seo at the VFiles fall 2014 show. Photos: Imaxtree

L: Philipp Plein fall 2015, R: Hyein Seo at the VFiles fall 2014 show. Photos: Imaxtree

In fashion, designers are constantly inspiring one another -- and the high street, too. But where does inspiration end and intellectual property infringement (i.e. copying) begin? That's something we're exploring in our long-running series, "Adventures in Copyright."

VFiles is awesome for a number of reasons, but primarily because it's the only fashion platform that will pluck young, imaginative designers from Internet obscurity every season and provide them with the opportunity to put on a fully produced show at New York Fashion Week. This experience (and exposure) is invaluable, and has the potential to launch someone's career. In fact, one of the designers who presented at the VFiles show for fall 2015, Andrea Jiapei Li, is already on the shortlist for the LVMH Prize. 

Another one of VFiles's former designers, Hyein Seo, earned a good amount of attention after she presented her horror film victim-inspired collection at its fall 2014 show, mainly due to the fact that Rihanna was spotted wearing one of Seo's faux fur stoles to Fashion Week shortly after its runway debut. The white stole with "FEAR" written in black block letters was pretty distinctive, so we couldn't help but do a double take when we saw a very similar accessory at the Philipp Plein show in Milan this last week. 

Plein's version, also in black and white, features the word "warrior" in bold lettering (the #PleinWarriors were a running theme of his fall 2015 show), and was carried by model Lindsey Wixson in an almost identical manner to the way it was styled at the VFiles show one year ago. Considering that Plein is a designer with a very profitable business and a dedicated customer base, we're a little surprised that he'd rip such a distinctive design from a relatively unknown industry newcomer. Plus, as far as fall 2015 trends go, fur stoles have emerged as an early frontrunner, so we're hoping for both parties' sakes that this is just an unfortunate coincidence.