Nasty Gal is slated to be the next Forever 21 and so, copying other brands and selling the copies for cheap is obviously the online retailer’s speciality. The latest example: its SRSLY WTF Bag. Some sites have commented on the similarity between Nasty Gal’s $48 clutch and Sophia Webster’s $500 Blah Blah Blah Speech Bubble clutch which preceded it. In case you’re not familiar with Sophia Webster, it is a UK-based accessories brand that was launched in 2012 by Sophia Webster, an ex-Nicholas Kirkwood designer. Turns out, in addition to being an award winning designer Webster is also a defender of her original designs. She took to her Instagram account this weekend to share an image of Nasty Gal’s bag, along with the following caption: “Nice Try @NastyGal #COPYCAT #SpeechBubbleClutch #SWHQ.”
Nasty Gal’s founder Sophia Amoruso has not yet responded but she probably will in her usual fashion, which includes some iteration of design piracy being a “rite of passage” and an array of the worst curse words you can think of, because the brand is classy like that. Interestingly in this case, Nasty Gal doesn’t have a supplier to blame, a go-to move for design pirating brands trying to avoid blame, as the bag is part of Nasty Gal’s in-house collection. The Nasty Gal Collection consists of self-proclaimed “limited edition styles by Nasty Gal [which] are designed at our offices in Los Angeles, featuring exclusive prints and aspirational pieces” (read: things they have copied from actual designers and are passing off as their own). Whether Sophia Webster has a claim here is debatable, as the sayings that adorn the bags are different. Yet, the overall design of the two bags is identical.