People online have claimed that Ralph Lauren’s cape design for Alicia Keys’ Met Gala outfit was a “knockoff” of a piece by Malaysian designer Zang Toi Datuk.
Keys wore a floor-length black cape featuring a bedazzled New York City skyline to the Gala on Monday. When internet users saw Keys’ outfit, many pointed out that the cape strongly resembled another designed by Zang Toi.
In February 2020, Zang Toi showcased a white floor-length silk cape with a black, hand-beaded skyline of New York City for his Autumn/Winter show at New York Fashion Week.
Zang Toi had originally debuted the cape design in 2009 for his Spring collection, which was later worn by Malaysian model Ling Tan in 2010 at the CDFA Fashion Awards.
“My cape was inspired by my love for my adopted home, New York City,” Toi told the New York Post. “I came here 41 years ago with $300 to study at Parsons School of Design, and I wanted to show my love and appreciation for the city that embraced me — and allowed me to live the American Dream.”
The Malaysian designer shared that many fans had sent him messages about the similarities between his cape and Ralph Lauren’s design and added that this “isn’t the first time” that his designs have been copied by other designers, although he did not mention any names.
Upset fans called Ralph Lauren’s cape a “knockoff” and “replica” on social media.
“I thought it was you and then they said Ralph and I was like WTF,” one internet user wrote, addressing Toi.
Ralph Lauren was previously accused of stealing designs in 1994 when the American fashion company was forced to pay $350,000 to fashion house Yves Saint Laurent for copying a tuxedo dress design.
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