Add Balenciaga to the growing list of fashion labels accused of stealing from Black creators and, this time, Swizz Beatz is pointing the finger.
The producer called out Balenciaga, whose artistic director is Demna Gvasalia, on Instagram Friday, June 22, for a shirt in the brand’s 2018 menswear collection. The shirt featured a graphic that is similar to the Ruff Ryders record label logo.
“We must have a talk about this Ruff Ryder shirt ASAP,” wrote Beatz, who produced DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and whose uncles and aunt founded the label in 1988. “Dapper Dan with Gucci, now this.”
The latter statement refers to Gucci’s knock off of Harlem, N.Y., couturier Dapper Dan’s Louis Vuitton jacket, which the company claimed was “a homage” to the legendary brand.
As further proof, Beatz posted an image of the Ruff Ryders shirt from 2000 which is nearly identical to Balenciaga’s apparel, with the R being changed to a B and “Balenciaga” written instead of “Ruff Ryders.”
“What are we doing???” Beatz wrote, tagging the French brand and Paris fashion collective Vetements, of which Gvasalia is the head designer. “Call me back. Blessings. I might just want you to open up a fashion school in the Bronx or Harlem ?Just so you can give back to the culture!”
Gvasalia has already been exposed for ripping off another brand. According to Pret-a-Reporter, in 2017, he took Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign logo, changed the colors and placed “Balenciaga 2017” where Sanders’ name had been.