Fashion has always been an industry where plagiarism and theft of ideas are the norm. Brands shamelessly to those at the bottom of the pecking order making waves on street-level and social media as an easy buy into a culture they have very little influence over. Most of the time, these big corporations walk away unscathed. Stealing is expected, and there’s no point fighting back against a billion-dollar corporation that will likely mop the floor with you legally. This time, however, fashion titan Prada might have met their match in Northampton native Navinder Nangla.
The artist has seen a meteoric rise over the past few months thanks to his trademark “Fassion Is My Pashion” and “Fashion Weak” tags that can be found scattered across London, Paris, Milan and more. The ironic, tongue-in-cheek slogans, followed by a red squiggly line, have brought Nangla a loyal following and led to him collaborating with huge names in the fashion world, including Hypebeast, Levi’s and Converse.
Recently, however, Prada released a T-shirt that held a suspiciously strong resemblance to Nangla’s penmanship. The top featured a red squiggly line underneath a squiggled Prada logo that seemed to take notes from Nangla’s own work.
“I’m culture, I’m embedded into the streets, and they wanted a piece of it,” Nangla said of the situation, speaking exclusively to HUNGER. “It’s my identity, and it’s easily recognisable. You see the red squiggly line, and you know it’s a Navinder Nangla [piece].”
In response, Nangla posted a video to Instagram showing himself visiting Prada’s Bond Street store, taking a T-shirt off the rail and tagging it with his signature art. “Writing on the T-shirt just shows that I’m here, man, and just because you’re a big corporation, you can’t take the piss out of me,” explains Nangla.
In what happened to be a strange turn of events, Nangla had actually planned to release his own bootleg Prada tee before any of this went down – which is now dropping this Friday. In his design, a white tee is printed with the iconic Prada Milan oval logo, this time with the name crossed out. Nangla then adds, “it’s Praduh,” alongside a red squiggly in his signature bold line.