South African designer accused of copying Barbie dress design

Kaia dress from Bloom By Edzi.

Kaia dress from Bloom By Edzi.

Published Jul 25, 2023


Almost every year, we see fashion brands fighting over designs. In 2020, Nigeria’s Anjy Luminee was accused of copying Quiteria Atelier’s designs. This time around it’s Ghana’s Bloom By Edzi vs South Africa’s La Jaqueta.

It all started when La Jaqueta designed a custom dress for Lethabo Shai to wear at the “Barbie” movie premiere.

Shai gladly tagged La Jaqueta on her social media platforms as the mastermind behind the dress. However, that didn’t sit well with Edzi, who claimed to be the original designer of the dress.

Edzi took to social media to express her disappointment towards Jaqueta and her muse.

She wrote: Sometimes it’s very heart-wrenching when you put in so much effort in creating something and see another designer copy your designs exactly as it is. @la_jaqueta @shai_lethabo I respect your hustle however copying my work and claiming it to be yours is not a great thing to do as a creator and designer.

“Copying something exactly from another designer is a little bit sterile and uninventive, and it jeopardises my work, and this is not the best thing to do as a designer and a creative if we want to grow the Africa fashion industry @bellanaijastyle @bellanaijabeauty.”

Edzi concluded by saying Jaqueta should do better and stop copying another woman’s work as it was “unacceptable.”

Now, if you go through Edzi’s social media pages, you will see that she has been designing the dress for some time now.

She calls it the Kaia dress, which is available in several colours, including green lizard, dark pink, yellow and African print.

Jaqueta, on the other hand is famous for colourful graduation suits and only started doing the Kaia replica dress for influencers who attended the Barbie launch.

However, Jaqueta has the Lucie dress, similar to the Kaia dress. The only difference is the bodice. The Kaia dress has knots on the straps, while the Lucie dress’ bodice is like any other square T-shirt.

This makes it possible that Jaqueta may have taken the idea from Edzi because both their designs look exactly the same and Edzi did it first.

The plot twist is, Edzi may not be the original designer of the dress as she claims. It is possible she got the design inspiration from Aimee Smale, the founder of Odd Muse.

If you look at Smale’s designs, you will notice that the circle dress in her Resort Collection is not new. Even her blazers have that circle design.

And when you look at Edzi’s designs, she only started the circle dress with the Kaia. The only difference is that she added her signature knots on the straps while Smale’s is strapless.

Nonetheless, we hope designers can stop fighting and start acknowledging one another. If your design was inspired by someone else’s design, credit them.

But then again, nothing is new under the sun. That’s why brands like Louis Vuitton don’t care about Galxboy copying their designs.

La Jaqueta has not commented on the matter.