They said/We said: Did Irish fast fashion retailer Primark copy Prabal Gurung?

Left, photo of Primark's offerings via Twitter/TheFashionLaw; Right, Prabal Gurung Resort 2012 photo by Dan Martensen courtesy of Prabal Gurung

Is Primark playing copycat with Prabal Gurung? Observant bloggers at The Fashion Law did a double take at the Irish retailer’s Spring looks and noticed a conspicuous likeness to Gurung’s Resort 2012 collection.

Word of the similar looks spread quickly online after the blog tweeted an Instagram picture of the clothing displayed in Primark’s window, commenting “Fast Fashion retailer Primark COPIES Prabal Gurung!” The tweet prompted Gurung to reply: “Oh boy looks like it…”

Could this be a case of catwalk copycatting or an innocent coincidence of designers thinking alike? The most blatant offender is a yellow-and-black floral number (seen recently on Sarah Jessica Parker). The Fashion Law was eager to point out a second potential duplicate dress on the basis that “purple was the main hue for [Gurung’s] Spring 2012 collection.”

Online, other Primark pieces seem to resemble Prabal Gurung looks, making it more difficult to pass this off as a mere fluke. Not to mention that this isn’t the budget retailer’s first plagiarizing accusation: Primark has been sued for copying numerous brands such as Ashley Wilde Boulevard and Superdry. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but continuously plagiarizing designs for profit is simply unjust. No word yet if Gurung will be taking legal action.


The Cut: “Regardless of Primark’s intentions, making purple dresses is still perfectly legal this season, so Twitter is probably as far as this accusation will go.” [The Cut]

The Fashion Law: “In addition to being completely insensitive to this designer’s creativity, hard work, and his emerging business, stealing another’s designs is terrible because it is completely legal in the U.S.” [The Fashion Law]


Lesa Hannah, beauty director: “Yeah, that’s no fluke. On the upside, at least it means I could afford it.”