It started with LaQuan Smith sharing a recent Instagram post featuring Kim Kardashian in his Spring/Summer 2021 leather jumpsuit, bustier and motor pants while promoting her latest KKW Fragrance campaign.
Jelena Karleusa then proceeded to create a post showing a side-by-side photo of her and Kim Kardashian wearing similar looks. Jelene’s blue look was worn and designed by her for a performance back in October of 2020. She claims the look was developed 5 months prior to her performance and the bodysuit is three years old. The singer stated in a caption, “At least give me some credit or ask me to work with you! Many world celebrities and designers literally STEAL everything I do without permission.”
LaQuan Smith stepped in to address the matter and brought some receipts along with him. In an Instagram post, Smith showed sketches and fittings of the SS21 designs dating back to May of 2020 which is five months prior to Karleusa’s performance. He shared his thoughts: “I’m disappointed that you would discredit me and my design process. I wholeheartedly stand by originality, great quality and craftsmanship. I promise you, no one is checking for you.”
The two seemed to be cordial prior to this social media fallout. Jelena Karleusa has even worn LaQuan Smith’s designs back in 2017. Smith even reposted the look on Instagram.
Now, a third party has entered the chat to say she did it first! Serbian folk singer Radmila “Rada” Manojlovic took to the social media platform to share her pink look in a similar design to LaQuan Smith and Jelena Karleusa’s. Manojlovic’s look was from 2017 and worn during her appearance on the AMIG Show.
With so many of these instances occuring, this poses the question: When does it become inspiration over time vs. blatant copying? Thoughts on this situation?