Nasty Gal, the online shopping sensation founded by #Girlboss Sophia Amoruso, has sparked controversy following a series of posts to its social media accounts. As Taylor Swift arrived on the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards, Nasty Gal began posting pictures of the popstar along with the caption: “One piece wonder @TaylorSwift in the #NastyGal Frisco Inferno Jumpsuit at the @officialbbmas #NastyGalsDoItBetter.” Awkward, really, as Taylor was in fact wearing Balmain.
Obviously, the high street is continually inspired by the catwalk, often producing designer dopplegangers at affordable prices, and Nasty Gal has produced a deadringer for the Balmain SS15 creation in both white and black. It’s unknown whether the online brand’s own copy was so good that staff couldn’t tell the difference and really did think Taylor was rocking the high street version, or whether it was just a marketing stunt. Either way, the posts were removed from all of Nasty Gal’s social media platforms- but not before the white, cut-away onesie had sold out.
Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing was also at the Billboard Awards, where he announced his collaboration with H&M flanked by Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner showing off the first designs from the upcoming collection. So what must he think of the Nasty Gal controversy? Well, speaking to The Independent last year, Olivier addressed the thousands of Balmain imitations flooding the high street. “I think it was Coco Chanel who said if you’re original, be ready to be copied,” Olivier mused. “I love seeing a Zara window with my clothes mixed with Celine and Proenza Schouler! I think that’s genius, it’s even better than what I do!”
And Olivier himself is no stranger to a bit of copycat controversy, as he produced a twist-front, cut-out white suit for his SS15 collection that was remarkably similar to a look from Givenchy’s Haute Couture show in 1997, designed by Alexander McQueen. There’s no doubt that fashion is an endless cycle of inspiration, which Olivier himself appreciates saying, “I’m really happy that Balmain is copied- when I did my Miami collection and we did the black and white checks, I knew they would be in Zara and H&M. But they did it in a clever way- they mixed a Celine shape with my Balmain print! Well done! I love that.”
Nasty Gal’s all-white jumpsuit may have sold out, but the brand is still stocking the black version for the humble price of £50. But there’s not that long to wait until authentic Balmain creations do hit the high street, with the H&M collection launching on 5th November this year. Speaking about the hotly anticipated range, Olivier said: “H&M allows me the unique possibility of bringing everyone into the world of Balmain to get a piece of the dream.”
Well, we don’t know about you, but we’re already sold.