Balmain Faces Plagiarism Accusations Amidst Fashion Week Buzz
In the midst of the ongoing Fashion Week for the 2024-2025 season, Balmain, led by Olivier Rousteing, finds itself embroiled in controversy as it is accused of plagiarism by an African fashion brand.
Sarah Diouf, the creator of "Tongoro," took to Instagram on January 21 to express her disappointment with Balmain, accusing them of copying her iconic signature jewelry named "Le Caire" during the men's collection runway show for the fall-winter 2024-2025 on January 20.
Sharing a comparative photo of the two designs, Diouf emphasized the visible resemblance and called the event "difficult and painful." The contested jewelry piece was initially showcased in May 2019 during the "Tongoro Tribe" collection spectacle in Dakar. It quickly gained popularity, with celebrities such as Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, and Naomi Campbell endorsing and collaborating with the brand.
As of now, Balmain has not responded to the controversy. This accusation follows Olivier Rousteing's triumphant return after the theft of fifty pieces from his collection just before the Paris Fashion Week in September last year. The fashion house's reaction to these recent claims remains awaited.
For Interparfums, a company specializing in perfume licenses, overseeing Rochas' ready-to-wear segment is a strategic move to enhance the brand's image cohesively and communicate its essence effectively. To achieve this, the group will continue collaborating with Him Co, an Italian company born from the ashes of OLG, which has been managing Rochas' fashion section under license since 2021, handling everything from production to distribution. While the license concludes on January 1, 2024, Him Co will persist as a partner supplier, responsible for product development and manufacturing for women's ready-to-wear collections, accessories, bags, and shoes.
In a statement, the CEO of Interparfums expressed enthusiasm for Alessandro Vigilante's arrival, praising his work characterized by "elegance, modern femininity, and a constant pursuit of women's bodily expression." As Rochas charts a new course under Vigilante's creative guidance, the fashion world eagerly awaits the unfolding of this chapter in the brand's storied history.
Vigilante's background in contemporary dance, influenced by choreographer Merce Cunningham, as well as his passion for art, photography, and cinema, shapes his design approach. Known for his affinity for geometric shapes and form-fitting materials that accentuate the body's curves, Vigilante often employs sharp cuts to create essential and characterful pieces. He will continue working on his own brand, initiated in digital format during Milan Fashion Week in February 2021 due to pandemic-related constraints.