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Did Forever 21 Copy Kanye West's The Life of Pablo Merch?

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Forever 21

In fashion, if you’re hoping to copy a piece of merchandise that’s not only highly sought-after, but sold-out pretty much everywhere and have it fly totally under the radar, you’re in for a rude awakening. Especially these days where Internet user’s greatest joy seems to stem from calling out wrong-doers for their transgressions and dragging them on Twitter for all to see. And while it’s always a bad idea to knock-off a designer, it’s a particularly bad idea when that designer is as verbose and uncensored as Kanye West, has a Twitter following of 23.6 million and knows how to use it.

As Hypebeast pointed out on Monday, a new piece of apparel has sprung up on Forever 21’s website that looks alarmingly identical to merch sold at Kanye’s The Life of Pablo pop-up shop in celebration of his new album. The fast fashion t-shirt in question comes in a distressed salmon hue as well as black with writing across the back in the exact font and word placement Kanye used on his own tops. They also feature a dangling asymmetrical white strap, just to give it that incoherently disheveled vibe all the kids are so into these days.

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The big difference is, unlike West’s merch which reads “This is an ultralight beam, This is a God dream,” across the back, these tops will totally baffle every person around you, proclaiming, “Simon De Cyrene For The World.” For those not super up to date on their minor Biblical characters, De Cyrene was the man commanded by the Romans to carry Jesus’s cross to the site of crucifixion. That seems like a Biblical deep-cut only Ye himself could help us unpack.

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This indiscretion also comes hot on the heels of a questionable line of clothing Zara produced called the “Streetwise Collection,” which happens to bear a striking resemblance to the Yeezy line with it’s boxy shapes, frayed hems, and taupe color palette. It seems like despite all of the mocking that took place shortly after West debuted his design aesthetic, nonetheless his on-trend wares have found a place for themselves within the mass consumer market. Welcome to Yeezy Season everyone.

Do you think these designs look a lot like Kanye’s? Would you rather buy these or the real deal?

–Emily Kirkpatrick