Mere hours after Kim Kardashian West stepped out at the Hollywood Beauty Awards in a revealing, strappy gown pulled directly from the tightly guarded Thierry Mugler archives, the fast-fashion website Fashion Nova announced that they intended to knock it off for the mass-market crowd. Some assumed that the timing wasn’t by chance. Indeed, the popular fashion-police Instagram account @diet_prada did some sleuthing of its own and came to the conclusion that Kardashian West herself must have been involved in the process.
“[Fashion Nova] House model Yodit Yemane may or may not have accidentally leaked a story 2.5 hours earlier of photo options from her shoot featuring the Mugler replica,” @diet_prada wrote on Instagram of the Fashion Nova knockoff. “The file names were even labeled ‘Kim dress’ while it’s now being called ‘Winning Beauty Cut Out Gown’ lol. This begs the question: Did Fashion Nova whip up the dress overnight in their Los Angeles atelier after seeing Kim in it or is she peddling her vintage finds to mass retailers ahead of debuting them for a calculated, timely release?”
Kardashian West, who likely saw this post, has now hit back at the insinuation that she’s borrowing from designers only to profit from rip-offs of their creations. The reality-TV star took to Instagram Stories, where she revealed that she played no role in the knockoff of her Mugler dress, while defending the fashion designers she collaborates with. “It’s devastating to see these fashion companies rip off designs that have taken the blood, sweat and tears of true designers who have put their all into their own original ideas,” she wrote. “I’ve watched these companies profit off my husband’s work for years and now that it’s also affecting designers who have been so generous to give me access to their beautiful works, I can no longer sit silent.”
Kardashian West also talked about how much planning goes into her looks. “My relationships with designers are very important to me,” she wrote. “It’s taken me over a decade to build them and I have a huge amount of respect for the amount of work that they put into bringing their ideas to life. I often plan for weeks, sometimes months, and even a year in advance, and I’m grateful for every fashion moment those designers and their dresses have helped me create.”
In case there was any more doubt, she plainly denied leaking her own clothing, while simultaneously shutting down the ethos of Fashion Nova and fast-fashion retailers like it. “Only two days ago, I was privileged enough to wear a one-of-a-kind vintage Mugler dress and in less than 24 hours it was knocked off and thrown up on a site — but it’s not for sale,” she added. “You have to sign up for a waitlist because the dress hasn’t even been made to sell yet. This is a way to get people to sign up for their mailing list and make people believe there is some kind of relationship between me and this fashion site. There is not. So, as always, don’t believe everything you read and see online. I don’t have any relationships with these sites. I’m not leaking my looks to anyone, and I don’t support what these companies are doing.”
Interestingly, some evidence shows that the Fashion Nova prototype was shot four days before Kardashian West wore the Mugler dress, so someone leaked it. “Kim, you’ll never fess up to your sneaky lil collaborations, but we got all the receipts ?,” Diet Prada wrote on Instagram after investigating the photo file of the Mugler knockoff from Fashion Nova, and after Kardashian West issued a statement about it. While Kardashian West herself says she played no role in this, don’t be surprised if she does any recon within her team.
Perhaps the biggest mystery: Who would dare trust a knockoff of that dress to not lead to an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction? The House of Mugler may have known what to do to keep everything in place, but we’re not so sure about the knockoff artists.