In the often grey world within fashion design of originators vs. biters, most of you have not been able to miss the fashion policing of the great Instagram account, Diet Prada. Calling out copy-cats across the board, the account has shone a much-needed light on this murky practice. Far too often brands, usually a bigger, will directly copy or lift undeniable designs and details from smaller brands, and then hold them down with their much larger marketing muscles. As it's often very lengthy, costly, and time-consuming to fight these battles for smaller brands, Diet Prada has provided a sort of fashion policing, creating some awareness, at least within the minds of consumers, on these shady practices. Many have wondered about the identity of the people behind the account, and now for the first time via a BoF interview, they have made their identities know. 

Their names are Lindsey Schuyler and Tony Liu, working within design and product management, they took the name Prada, from Miuccia Prada, “the original end-all be-all of everything,” and Diet Coke, “the original imitator.” Coming out of fashions all to frequent nature of repeating itself, or even directly lifting design from someone else, the account was created to chiefly, in a very simple comparative A/B pictorial way, show how wide this practice runs, even within certain big brand names. The account has later evolved to calling out model abuse, racial discrimination, and cultural appropriation within fashion.

Diet Prada revealed  The mask is lifted on the creators of the fashion policing page | Image 0

Starting as a light-hearted bit of internal joking between the duo during runway shoots, where one would pull up a show and say, ‘Hey, look at this, it’s so Louis Vuitton Fall 2014… with a flurry of comments then being fired back and forth, soon the recurrence and frequency of the phenomenon started becoming too much to just joke about, and the Instagram account Diet Prada was born. Quickly hitting 1000 followers (which for the time seemed a lot) there definitely seemed to be a wider interest. Fast forwarding to today, they have almost half a million followers, and “basically every major fashion industry professional follows us.” Their impact on fashion has become undeniable.

“We just kind of realized there was so much more in this industry that needed to be talked about and a lot of these people have serious concerns and they don’t have a voice, they don’t have a platform. So, we’re able to give that to them and highlight issues that the industry otherwise, I mean, for the most part, ignores. Diversity. Representation.” 

With that “the time was going to come that we’d need to own it, eventually” and “Ideally, we would like to make this a business. It’s going to be easier to [do that] if we put a face to the names.”

When asked about breaking the far too often silent nature of the industry - 

Liu: “For us, nothing is sacred. I don’t know why this industry is so self-protective. Every other industry, people say whatever shit they want and they should be able to do that in fashion as well. I think it’s new to them. We’re such a jarring new voice that any kind of hard criticism seems like bullying, but it’s not. It’s just criticism.”

Schuyler: “Not to bring in the ‘special snowflake’ thing, but people are not used to hearing a mean word. And we’re not being mean. I hate saying, ‘We’re just being honest!’ But, you know.” 

They go on to addressing Diet Prada’s transforming of the industry -

Schuyler: “I don’t want to tell people what to do or how to live their lives but to help develop that critical eye. I want to be able to love the fashion industry more purely. The more I learn about it, I think, ‘Well this needs to change.’ It needs to change so that I can keep loving it.”

When asked about the future of Diet Prada, there's no concrete game plan, its all blown up rather fast in a short amount of time, they’re going to just keep the growth organic and see where that leads them. We’ll be sure to keep an eye out, as are consumers and designers alike now, which will hopefully lead to seeing far less of these practices in the future and letting smaller originators get their dues, without being ripped off, and then run over by the brute force of bigger brands. 

Check out the Diet Prada's Instagram account HERE.