"We recently had Kylie wear two of our dresses and an exact copy was made via Fashion Nova," the New York-based designer says in a statement to Fashionista. "I found these pieces because several people DM'd me on Instagram showing me the looks."
Kylie Jenner posted multiple photos of the original Kim Shui designs to her Instagram last month. One dress in question, pictured below, is a skin-tight, multicolored tie-dye mini with shirred ties that comes with two extra-long gloves. The other, pictured further down, is a long-sleeve, high neck ruched, red bodycon, which is made out of a leather-effect stretch material and features a cutout.
Replicas of the dresses are now available for purchase on Fashion Nova for $40; one has already sold out. Shui's original versions retail for $295 and $260. "I understand that pieces can be inspired — I felt that they could have at least changed the color or gloves somehow, but when the dress is an exact copy, it has an impact on an independent business like ours," Shui says of the ripped off styles.
This is certainly not the first time Fashion Nova has ended up in hot water due to copying: The fast-fashion retailer was accused of knocking off a crochet dress by Knots & Vibes, an independent U.K.-based label, in January. Shortly after, the company was blasted for selling identical copies of designer ensembles worn by Kim Kardashian West. The reality star and beauty mogul then called out the brand in a series of tweets. "It's devastating to see these fashion companies rip off designs that have taken the blood, sweat and tears of true designers who have put their all into their own original ideas," she wrote. "I've watched these companies profit off my husband's work for years and now that it's also affecting designers who have been so generous to give me access to their beautiful works, I can no longer sit silent."
Fashion Nova, along with other fast fashion giants, regularly looks to Kardashian and Jenner, among other celebrities and influencers, for cues on what to create because it's a given that what they wear will quickly be trending. But it's one thing to take inspiration from a club-ready garment Instagrammed by a member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, and another to steal a designer's idea and work altogether, and to sell it for a quarter of the original price.
Since learning of the copycat frocks early Tuesday morning, Shui has emailed the company twice to remove the products. She has yet to receive any feedback from the retailer on whether the dresses will be taken down.