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Ralph Lauren accused of plagiarising Malaysian designer's cape for Alicia Keys at the Met Gala

US-based Malaysian designer Datuk Zang Toi accused Ralph Lauren of copying one of his designs for a cape, which was worn by singer Alicia Keys at the Met Gala earlier this month.

The singer arrived in a silver gown and black cape embroidered with New York skyline.

On the red carpet, Keys told Vogue that she and Lauren were inspired by the Big Apple, since they both hail from New York.

Keys told Vogue that “my inspiration is our city. New York City forever. We just wanted to bring New York to the Gala,” and stated that she loved the cape’s “artistic vibe.”

However, Lauren’s design strongly resembled Zang Toi’s skyline cape from his 2009 Spring collection, which was featured again at New York Fashion Week in 2020.

Toi’s fans and social media users were quick to call out Lauren for copying Toi’s design.

Toi told the New York Post that his inbox was swamped with messages from his supporters pointing out Lauren’s plagiarism.

Toi added that his cape was inspired by his love for his adopted home. He came to New York “41 years ago with US$300 to study at Parsons School of Design” and he wanted to show his “love and appreciation for the city” that embraced him and allowed him to live the “American Dream.”

He also said that when a “giant brand name company” such as Ralph Lauren copies “a small-town boy from Malaysia,” it is “a high form of flattery.”

He further added: “It is proof that you are good at your craft when someone copies your work.”

Ralph Lauren is yet to respond to this allegation.

It wasn’t the first time Lauren has been accused of stealing designs. In 1994, he was ordered to pay US$350,000 to Yves Saint Laurent for copying a sleek tuxedo dress.

We reported earlier this month on netizens calling out Swedish fashion house H&M for copying a dress design from London-based Asian-American fashion designer Chet Lo.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Partner (+65) 6223 2249

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