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Left: Taylor Swift in Balmain at the BBMAs (Photo: Getty Images); Right: Nasty Gal’s Frisco Inferno Jumpsuit (Photo: Courtesy of Nasty Gal)
The fast-fashion brand, which has a history of knocking off high-end designs and selling them at significant markdowns, has in fact taken the shady (and somewhat illegal, copyright laws are fuzzy) practice so far that it can’t even tell the difference between their own products and the originals. On Tuesday, the California-based retailer Instagrammed a photo of Swift in a white jumpsuit with the caption, “One piece wonder. Taylor Swift in the Nasty Gal Frisco Inferno Jumpsuit at the officialbbmas #NastyGalsDoItBetter,” and a link to shop the item in their profile.
The original piece, which model-of-the-moment Binx Walton wore down the Balmain runway in Paris last September, is not for sale online. But it cost around $5,000 (based on similar styles), while the Nasty Gal replica goes for $78. And there’s no question that Swift did indeed wear the former. It wasn’t just publicized by the house and designer Olivier Rousteing himself, but confirmed through a press release and pretty much every fashion site, too.
Binx Walton wore the original jumpsuit down Balmain’s SS15 runway in Paris last September. Photo: Imaxtree
So was it ignorance on Nasty Gal’s part? Regardless of how good a copy they might make, it’s unlikely that one of the most successful female musicians in the world would wear an off-the-rack jersey jumpsuit on a red carpet. Sure, a staffer could’ve mistaken Swift’s look for Nasty Gal’s own, but isn’t that a problem in and of itself? The fact that the knock-offer can’t discern its own product from the original probably means the imitation has gone too far. It could have been opportunistic. But even then, calling attention to the fact really only makes the LA-based company look bad, and opens them up for false-advertising suits. (A rep for Nasty Gal did not immediately respond to our request for comment.)
Nasty Gal swiftly deleted the post — many commenters called them out — but not until their forgery was nearly sold out (currently there are only four in stock, two medium and two XL). As for Balmain, the French house is killing it. They just announced a partnership with H&M, and have dressed one major celeb after another; the #BalmainArmy includes everyone from Kim Kardashian to Chrissy Teigen—so Nasty Gal’s stunt can’t really hurt anyone but Nasty Gal.