Hey, Quick Question: Are These Brands Blatantly Ripping Off Glossier?

An investigation.
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An investigation.

Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!

A new day, a new mega-brand (or two) ripping off an indie darling. This week began with Forever 21 selling cheap knockoffs of Sorelle designs. And now comes the realization that something similar is going on in the beauty realm, with Glossier getting the imitation treatment from two separate... fans? Admirers? Well-intentioned design teams? Considering Glossier's highly identifiable #aesthetic and ubiquitous Instagram presence, it's frankly surprising that this hadn't happened sooner.

Colourpop's Phase Me Out eye shadow set. Photo: Colourpop

Colourpop's Phase Me Out eye shadow set. Photo: Colourpop

The first product is a pretty cut-and-dry example of one brand, er, drawing inspiration — and not so subtly — from another's packaging. Inexpensive makeup brand Colourpop is no stranger to controversy; about a year ago, fans speculated that Kylie Cosmetics was simply repackaging Colourpop products. But Colourpop may be doing a little brand-blending of its own. The brand is currently selling a Phase Me Out eye shadow set that looks suspiciously familiar. While Glossier doesn't currently make eye shadow, it's the packaging of Colourpop's set that seems to be an obvious nod to the Instabait brand. 

The eye shadow box features faux decals — cherries, smiley faces, flames — that bear a striking resemblance to the sticker packs Glossier distributed during its initial launch, which in turn helped propel its products into the Instagram spotlight. Curious.

Urban Outfitters's "You Look Good" bath mat. Photo: Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters's "You Look Good" bath mat. Photo: Urban Outfitters

Then there's the case of this "You Look Good" bath mat, which is currently being sold at Urban Outfitters. When I first spotted it, I was immediately reminded of Glossier's ad campaign, which runs on buses, bus stops and billboards and features the words "You Look Good."

The company's New York City showroom also features a made-for-Instagram mirror with the same phrase emblazoned across it. Obviously you could argue that people tell each other that they look good all the time, but the resemblance goes beyond the phrase itself and into the design. The bathmat comes in two colorways, one of which is white and pink (albeit a hint brighter than Glossier pink) which is essentially the Glossier color scheme. There's also the typography aspect — both versions use a similar minimalist, bold, all-caps font.

It's worth noting, though, that Urban Outfitters may not actually be in the wrong this time (for once). In a surprising plot twist, according to an Urban Outfitters rep, the retailer has been selling the "You Look Good" bathmat since 2015, which according to this article advertising the opening of the Glossier showroom, means it actually precedes the beauty brand's version.

Based on color scheme, fonts and typography alone, Glossier has design brethren in Acne, THINX and women's social club The Wing, among many others. So the question essentially becomes: What came first, the Instabait chicken or the pink egg?

Fashionista has reached out to Colourpop and Glossier and will update this post with any additional information.

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