Global lifestyle brand GUESS, halted sales of it’s G-Logo totes following accusations of copying the popular designs of Black-owned brand Telfar Global. In a statement released to Paper Magazine, Guess’ handbag license Signal Brands spoke on the backlash.
“Signal Brands, the handbag licensee of Guess, Inc., has voluntarily halted the sale of its G-Logo totes. Some on social media have compared the totes to Telfar Global’s shopping bags. Signal Brands does not wish to create any impediments to Telfar Global’s success and, as such, has independently decided to stop selling the G-logo totes.”
Once social media users caught wind of GUESS’s new design, some quickly pointed out the similarities to Telfar Global’s popular shopping bags. Both designs appear to have double straps for handles and cross-body, embossed logo, and magnetic snap closure. Here’s what people on twitter said in reaction to GUESS’s tote.
The iconic design was created by Telfar Clemmens, a Black designer who built the brand on the idea of “It’s not for you, it’s for everyone.” The unisex bag is made from faux leather and twill lining and packaged in a 100% cotton drawstring bag with a screen-printed logo. The design, also known as the “Bushwick Birkin” has been selling since 2014, but it quickly gained popularity in the last couple of years.
Everyone from political figures and celebrities have been seen wearing the Black-owned brand. The high demand for the shopping bag has caused it to sell out in a matter of minutes at times and has motivated the brand to create a bag security program to ensure buyers can get their hands on one. Coincidentally, Telfar is opening their second program to buyers from March 30th – 31st. Twitter user EeyoresDior suggested people purchase the real design through the program Tuesday.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve seen Black designers and artists styles get ripped off. This incident brought up the reoccuring conversation of the ability of large brands or “fast fashion” brands, to replicate and mass produce styles of smaller brands and Black-owned busineses’ designs.
Read what other twitter users are saying about the incident.