Cara Delevingne's sweatshirt controversy

Her feminist pullover is a rip-off, according to Otherwild

By Shantila Lee | Published: 8 Dec 2015

FIF sweatshirt
Photo: caradelevingne/Instagram

Just yesterday, Cara Delevingne posted up a photo on her Instagram account, of her wearing a sweatshirt that reads 'The Future is Female'. She is selling this feminist statement pullover on Represent, which sparked controversy that the shirt is a rip-off of a design from LA-based company Otherwild.

The backstory is that the feminist slogan was printed on a T-shirt worn by Alix Dobkin, who was photographed by her girlfriend Liza Cowan. This year, the photo appeared on Herstory, an Instagram account dedicated to Herstoric Lesbian Imagery. Rachel Berks, owner of Otherwild, spotted it, remade the shirt and sold it, with 25% of proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

FIF sweatshirt
Left: the original photo of Alix Dobkin (Photo: Otherwild); right: Cara's shirt (Photo: Represent)

Cara was spotted wearing the shirt in October. She's now recreated the shirt on her own, not through Otherwild, and is selling it on Represent with 25% of the proceeds going to Girl Up, a UN campaign that promotes the health, safety and education of women in developing countries.

The controversy, according to Rachel Berks, is that Otherwild's FIF shirts are protected under copyright law, so any reproduction of the shirt has to be altered at least 20% from the original, which Cara's isn't. Cara has since added "A recreation of the original shirt worn by Alix Dobkin in 1975 in a photograph by Liza Cowan" to the description of the shirt on Represent.

Granted the shirt is a basic pullover with the exact same slogan, but it's a shame that though it's all in the name of feminism and donating to help women, controversy over copyrights has erupted. In essence both Cara and Rachel have recreated the shirt worn by Alix Dobkins, but Rachel is claiming ownership of the design.

We'd buy both. Would you?

Related: The Mulberry mini Cara Delievingne backpack we're lusting for


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