Fashion Lookbook

Diet Prada: the fashion watchdogs that changed how I view the industry

In the age of social media, influencers and ever-changing fashion trends, clothing brands are constantly trying to stay relevant. They often resort to copying talented indie designers and high-end fashion brands. And they usually do this without considering the implications. Diet Prada is here to call them out while emphasizing that fashion is more than just items of clothing, it’s art. You can’t steal people’s art.

Diet Prada started out in 2014 as an anonymous Instagram account that called out fast fashion brands for constantly copying high-end designers and indie artists. Their witty and informative posts peaked the interest of fashion enthusiasts across the world. It was later revealed that two fashion industry professionals, Tommy Liu and Lindsay Schuyler, are behind the whole thing.


As of October 2020, Diet Prada’s Instagram account has over 2.2 million followers and there’s no sign of things slowing down.

They’ve evolved into a full-fledged fashion watchdog group ready to call out the copycats. They also speak on various issues surrounding the industry.

Major clothing brands can steal designs with ease because fashion is not fully protected under US copyright law. It’s still considered a manufacturing industry rather than a creative one. For this reason, there’s a lack of legal protection for designers and it enables the mass production of knockoffs and replicas.In an interview with Fast Company, Diet Prada co-founder, Tony Liu, shared that, “young creatives don’t have the resources to battle in court.” This is one the many reasons why Diet Prada is committed to shaming popular clothing brands that don’t respect the artistry behind fashion design. In the same interview, co-founder Lindsay Schuyler, urged us to start viewing fashion designs as intellectual property.

One of the most iconic Diet Prada moments was when they called out Fashion Nova for copying countless designer outfits worn by the Kardashian sisters. Kim Kardashian was photographed wearing a vintage 1998 Thierry Mugler cut-out dress for the 5th Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards. Fashion Nova released an exact replica within 24 hours and it retailed for only $50. Diet Prada found this suspicious for several reasons and they did not hesitate to call out both parties. Firstly, Fashion Nova’s copycat tendencies were getting out of hand. Secondly, they thought Kim Kardashian might be in on it. How on earth did Fashion Nova manage to release a knockoff Mugler dress in only 24 hours?

In the past, I rarely ever thought of who designed the the clothes that I own and whether they received adequate recognition. Since I started following Diet Prada in 2018, I can say I’ve become more fashion conscious. As a writer, I can only imagine how frustrating it would be if someone was constantly copying my work. This is the plight of so many fashion designers.

Nevertheless, Diet Prada has evolved into more than just a fashion watchdog group. If you look at their recent Instagram posts, you’ll notice that they use their platform to raise awareness about social issues like sexism, racism, and environmental concerns. They also dive deep into the detrimental effects of the fast fashion industry and strive to provide reliable fashion news. I’ve witnessed first-hand how their content is taking the fashion industry by storm.


Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

By Luale Monze

Luale Monze is a well-versed journalist, copywriter and social media strategist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Luale won't shy away from starting new projects, collaborating with fellow creators, and learning as she goes. With a BA in Journalism & Media Studies and a desire to tell meaningful stories, she is ready to take on the world.