5 months ago
Nomzamo Mbatha shut down the show in this Khosi Nkosi original at the 2016 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg. Photo: Simon Deiner  ~ 

The fashion industry is one where the trends are never really new, and very few people in the history of the industry have ever invented a trend.

Instead, we recycle trends.

Whether it’s the “mom jeans” from the nineties, which made a major comeback over the past decade, or the neon, shimmery and metallic styles of the 80s which are currently blowing up the fashion industry, nothing is ever really new.

So when celebrity designer brand, Khosi Nkosi, was accused of design theft, we had to find out why and how.

In several social media posts, upcoming designer Mamello Mosase, has accused Khosi Nkosi of stealing her designs after the brand posted a picture of a dress that was very similar to hers.

“People like Khosi Nkosi steal our work just because they have the money to do so, while we put our peanut money, blood, sweat and tears into our work! You don't even have the decency to do your research as a designer Khosi Nkosi. How do u explain using the same fabric and the same design that has already been used by another designer?” she said in one post.

According to Mamello, Khosi Nkosi stole her design after she posted an image of the dress on her social media platforms.

She claims that she first released images of the dress in question on the 27th of August 2017 before Khosi Nkosi could release theirs in September.

However, Khosi Nkosi claimed that they first showed the dress at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg on 18 August 2017.

They go on to fiercely deny this accusation, saying that they released their image on 22 August and according to their research, Mamello released her image on the 31 August.

“It is so unfortunate that such harsh words have been used here and heavy accusations without proof. This could have been brought to our attention. Please send your email address so we can send you the drawings and actual photographs,” read Khosi Nkosi’s statement.

To make matters worse, Mamello says she had been look for retail outlets to stock her Seilatsatsi rang from her label, Mobu by Melo.

She says that she wanted to “make it accessible to the people, seeing that there was a need for it after the response it got”.

She then approached the Young Designers Emporium (YDE) who rejected her range.

"Dear Mamello Thank you for sending us your application. We had a look at your range, The YDE customer is young, sexy and always looking for the latest fashion items. Your range does not resemble the latest trends and the product look and feel will not appeal to our market. We therefore decline your application. We hope you understand,” the email read.

The young designer was shocked to discover that YDE then decided to stock a similar dress made with the same material designed by Khosi Nkosi.

So she went on a social media campaign, dragging both Khosi Nkosi and YDE.

“This leaves me confused as I thought my range was not young, sexy and "on trend". Well at least according to YDE. I am confused. There is clearly nothing wrong with my range as YDE could stock it after Khosi Nkosi stole my design,” she said.

“Places like @_yde_ continue to give this mediocrity a platform to insult consumers and insult plus size people by saying they are not "young, sexy and trendy". You have hurt me in the worst way! And please do not patronize me I released my work end of August. In September you posted an exact dress to be available in @_yde_ stores.

YDE has since responded to this accusation.

In a thread of emails seen by ZAlebs, YDE responded to the claim saying: "Khosi Nkosi launched this style at the Mercedes Benz Fashion week 17 - 19 August of this year and by 23 August was already available in stores, whereas, from what we can ascertain, the first public presentation of your dress appeared on Instagram at the end of August (30th August)."

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