The Moschino x Sephora Collaboration Bears an Uncanny Resemblance to Black Woman-Owned Brand The Crayon Case
âThe creative concepts and ideas of black women are more often than not pushed to the side and seen as invaluable until they are seen as profitable and valid by the powers that be, especially in the fashion and beauty industries. In which cases, these very ideas are then picked up by those that once shunned them and marketed to the masses as new and innovative, leaving the black individuals responsible for the innovative ideas with not even a nod or credit to their creative intellectual property.
"Ghetto Until Proven Fashionable," the conversation and thought-provoking phrase made popular by designer and fashion activist Nareasha Willis, continues to come to mind when highlighting the way black people are seen and valued in fashion and beauty more and more as the days go by.
The latest instance presents itself as luxury fashion brand Moschino unveiled its collaboration with beauty retailer Sephora of a cosmetic line that bears an almost identical resemblance to the creative concept behind black female-led brand The Crayon Case.
Image Credit: The Crayon Case
The Crayon Case is owned and operated by CEO Raynell "SupaCent" Steward and was launched in 2017 with a school supply-themed creative concept. The brand took the beauty community by storm, becoming an instant hit amongst influencers and consumers alike and going viral in November of last year after the indie brand generated a million dollars in sales in just an hour and a half for their Cyber Monday sale. The New Orleans native is a favorite on social media, garnering a following for her hilarious viral videos. Her story of going from being a waitress to the founder and CEO of a successful and powerful cosmetics brand is such an inspiring example of authenticity and drive.
Image Credit: The Crayon Case / 21Ninety
âAfter Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott announced the collaboration via Instagram and upon the release of the Moschino x Sephora collaboration, The Crayon Case fans and fashion industry whistle-blower account Diet Prada were quick to spot and call out the obvious similarities between the two collections. The nine-piece collection from Moschino's Sephora collaboration includes pencil makeup brushes, pink eraser beauty sponges, marker eyeliner and other office and school supply-themed products that are almost identical to those that The Crayon Case offers.
âThe Crayon case fans rushed to offer words of support and solidarity for Steward regarding the new collection. Many exclaimed how The Crayon Case concept was completely ripped off, claimed they would no longer be supporting Sephora as a result, called on the beauty retailer to discontinue the knockoff line, said the retailer should have instead partnered with Steward and The Crayon Case instead of with Scott and Moschino on a similar concept, and highlighted the continued issue of black creatives being disrespected and snubbed for their work while others made the profit. To the wave of support, Steward responded in the comments of the Diet Prada Instagram post by saying "I'll be okay. We all can make money but god sits high. [I'm] extremely blessed."
Something very similar happened not long after Steward launched The Crayon Case. One of the reasons that the cosmetics brand was so special was that it tapped into a sense of nostalgia for their consumers, bringing back memories from childhood and coloring with crayons and the bright colors and a much simpler time. One of the first products that Steward offered under The Crayon Case was the eyeshadow palette, Box of Crayons, a beautiful assortment of bold colors and rich pigments that take you right back to coloring books and scribbling doodles on computer printer paper. The palette was a viral success on social media, and where there is media attention, there is also a big corporation or label trying to ride the coattails of and catch the momentum of a smaller brand's success. Crayola released makeup line Crayola Beauty in collaboration with British fashion retailer ASOS soon thereafter. They didn't even have to say it; we all knew where their source of inspiration came from.
Image Credit: Us Magazine, Vogue Austrailia, Byrdie, Cosmopolitan, Allure, ASOS, Vampy Varnish
This is also not the first time that Scott has been accused of stealing a concept from another creative. Just last September, it was reported that Norwegian designer Edda Grimes accused Moschino of stealing the design concept for the looks at their S/S 2019 show. Grimes revealed via an Instagram post that she had met with the label a year prior and showed them her work, including her original ideas and sketches. Let's also make note that a pieces from the collection that Scott was accused of stealing are featured on the model in his Moschino x Sephora announcement post--see above!
Steward shared with BuzzFeed that she was very devastated, regarding the collaboration between the luxury fashion brand and the beauty retailer, but she also shared that the silver lining was that her followers flood the comments whenever the collaboration is posted and her sales go up. At the very least, this situation provides an opportunity for Steward and The Crayon Case's success to skyrocket and keep more money and support in their corner.
The phrase that people love to use in instances like these when caping for the accused party is that "imitation is the highest form of flattery." Takes like this are so insensitive, especially when the (assumed) success of the imitator comes at the expense of the black entrepreneurs who are simply trying to push their own innovations and ideas. It says more about the brands that copy the work of independent companies and creatives and how their team is incapable of bringing innovative and fresh ideas to the table, having to steal from those smaller companies because they know that no real harm (from a legal and significant financial standpoint) will come to them in most cases. There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving credit where credit is due. For entrepreneurs and creatives, credit for their work is everything; it's the difference between obtaining more access + opportunity and missing out on pivotal moments and checks because their name isn't attached to the product that is a result of their intellectual property. There is so much missed opportunity in stealing concepts and ideas from other creatives. Black women, specifically, have to work so hard to be able to be recognized on a mainstream level. It is disrespectful at the bare minimum to steal their ideas and pass them off as a brand's own idea when they could just as easily collaborate with them or hire them. There is so much money to be made in joining forces, audiences, and creative ideas, authentically and ethically doing so. In this apparent age of black outrage being a form of PR for these companies, it is so important that we commit to uplifting and supporting the entrepreneurs and creatives whose work we believe in on purpose.
Situations like these literally speak to the power and influence that black women possess. When we make moves and apply pressure, change quickly follows and shifts happen! May Raynell Steward and The Crayon Case receive all of the money, blessings and support in all endeavors. Let's keep the black dollar circulating!
Image Credit: Twitter / @UngleSego
I love seeing guys open to experimenting with various styles of clothing and having appreciation for the cultivation of a great sense of style. If a man can put continuously put together a dope ‘fit, pull it off with ease + a signature flair, and not lean solely onto the hypebeast trends of the moment, he has my instant respect!
Enter Micah Davis—generally known by his stage name Masego. The Lady Lady artist’s style is as smooth and lavish as his signature sonic sound.
He credits designers like Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Gucci as a few of his favorites. He loves the 1970s vibe that Gucci has, and the influence is extremely present in his style of dress. Whether he's being styled for a shoot or pulling together looks for an appearance or performance, there is a distinct energy about him that radiates through. He exudes an aura that is fun and lighthearted, carefree, electric, positive and dynamic. There's a cool confidence about him that I absolutely love.
Image Credit: Twitter / @UngleSego
While the "Tadow" singer has a handle on his signature style and can dress the way he wants to, there were a few moments of clarity he experienced before truly developing his fashion ethos. In an interview with Vogue, he shared that he used to dress like an "old man," and that he "always looked like he was about to take a nap." He goes on to say, "I thought I was cool until I left the country. I went to Tokyo, and I was like 'man, why am I wearing these jorts?' I've always loved fashion, but when you're broke, you're wearing whatever your dad gave you." A true and dedicated creative, when presented with a choice between style and music, of course music was his first priority. It was up until he began dating who he describes as "one of those Fashion Week every week women" and wanted to match her energy that his style began to blossomed and take form.
Nowadays, the "Trap House Jazz" musician has traded in his old man garb of yesteryear for billowing silk tops in a wide range of colors and motifs, leather jackets, immaculately patterned ensembles, dope sets of vintage rings, perfectly fitting pairs of trousers (his personal favorites are by Vivienne Westwood), unique pairs of sunglasses, his signature saxophone chain and so many more elements that make up his fawn-worthy and aesthetically pleasing method of dress. A true style chameleon, and I’m honestly just here to stan. "There's an upper echelon to my style but not in a belittling way. 'Cause I'm hood. I'm from the hood. I love there being a grit to it."
Image Credit: Twitter / @UngleSego
Throughout his sartorial journey, the hip hop + jazz multi-instrumentalist learned that a great outfit comes together when you know how to pair things, putting them together with taste, more so than just rocking the trendiest pieces. And, of course, the statement piece here and there is always a necessary touch. He's a fan of mixing consignment finds with designer pieces, as a well-executed high-low look is never not a good idea. Dope one-of-a-kind finds really make a look hit differently!
Whew! A man after my fashion-obsessed heart! Uncle Sego can definitely teach the guys a thing or two. And he can serenade me with his saxophone playing anytime!
Every year, fashion’s veterans and aficionados gather to celebrate the rising stars and icons in fashion at the event affectionately known as the Fashion Oscars—the CFDA Awards. One of the industry’s most significant events, the CFDA Awards shed light on fashion’s talented newcomers and current power players as well as gives flowers to iconic figures that have made a substantial impact within the industry and beyond.
The CFDA Awards have been known to garner some attention. From snubs and lack of true diversity and representation to last year’s social media frenzy surrounding Kim Kardashian’s Influencer Award.
This year’s attention-grabbing headline from the upcoming awards ceremony is the news that singer, dancer, producer and actress Jennifer Lopez will be honored with the CFDA Fashion Icon award. The news set fashion twitter ablaze, with opinions on whether J. Lo deserved the honor or not being split down the middle.
Image Credit: Instagram / @cfda
The news broke Tueday morning (4/16) via the Council of Fashion Designers of America Instagram page, announcing that the CFDA Board of Directors would be giving the “Jenny From The Block” singer the Fashion Icon award for her “longstanding and global impact on fashion.” In a statement regarding the announcement, Chairwoman Diane von Furstenbury had this to say: “Jennifer Lopez uses clothes as a way to express confidence and power. Both designers and fans look forward to her fashion statements.” Also sharing his praise for the Fashion Icon recipient was the CFDA president and CEO Steven Kolb: “Jennifer Lopez’s style is bold, uninhibited, and always memorable. Designers, including many of our CFDA Members, love to dress her for both stage and private moments.”
The organization credited the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer’s fashion impact to her numerous show-stopping red carpet looks, on-stage performance fashion moments and music videos that have been cemented into pop culture world history. Upon receiving this highly coveted award, Lopez will join the ranks of previous honorees Pharell, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell and the late Franca Sozzani.
Praise and exclamations of those in favor of the CFDA’s latest Fashion Icon recipient flooded social media, referencing noteworthy red carpet moments and influential music video style moments—elements that found their way into closets and street style inspiration all over the world. The most referenced red carpet moment from the Maid in Manhattan actress was the iconic Versace tropical leaf silk chiffon plunging dress that she wore to the 2000 Grammys. The moment surrounding the dress was a moment of cultural significance because, up to that point, the red carpet fashion for women was fairly tame. J. Lo in that dress literally broke the Internet.
Image Credit: Page Six / Popsugar
Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmit in an essay in January of 2015 highlighted that this moment was the most popular search Google had ever seen at the time, but there was no way for Google users to get the specific image of J. Lo in the Versace dress. From there, Google Image Search was born! Pretty iconic moment. Other notable fashion fan favs were her fur-trimmed baby pink coat in “All I Have,” the pink velour short set in “I’m Real” (the girls always love a good [velour] set), the bikini top + baggy pant combo from “If You Had My Love,” and the tank + cargo pant + Timberland heel moment from “Jenny from the Block.” The latter example was definitely a popular example of J. Lo’s impact on street style—this look was seen duplicated everywhere. A recent credited style moment comes from this year’s Oscars red carpet—Lopez wears a fitted, long-sleeved mosaic mirror tiled Tom Ford gown, one that got a lot of people talking. Designers like Tom Ford, Donatella Versace, Zuhair Murad and Balmain are some of the signature partners that have aided in crafting her signature look over the years. The “Medicine” singer is the embodiment of sexy chic, is no stranger to the curve-hugging garments and the naked dress trend (one that she is a key player in) and is known for a high slit + exposed thigh moment. The Selena actress has definitely had fashion moments and has an unquestionable sense of personal style. That much is undeniable.
Image Credit: Bustle
Image Credit: People
Image Credit: Bustle
Honorable mention: J. Lo at the 2000 VMAs | Image Credit: Who What Wear / Us Weekly
Image Credit: Daily Mail
Those on the other end of the spectrum who aren’t in favor of the newest Fashion Icon recipient feel that, while J. Lo has her moments, she hasn’t established enough of a range to be able to hold such a title. Though J. Lo’s most significant example of impact began with that 2000 Grammys Versace moment, no other fashion moment from the multi-hyphenate artist hit quite like that one did. What moment topped or came close to that one? Many question Lopez’s true impact on fashion, making the point that her [red carpet] fashion choices are in large a revolving door of similar Zuhair Murad gowns for countless appearances (or just the same type of gown for that matter, lacking any real style variety). Familiar with the infamous Aretha Franklin “Uh…great gowns, beautiful gowns” GIF? That might be more accurate embodiment of J. Lo’s contribution to fashion. Mentions of the cultural impact surrounding the infamous Versace dress have been the most common example of her impact, but many want to know what else can Lopez be credited with. When you take away that moment, what else is left? Credits were made to her music video style and her apparently putting hoop earrings, fur-lined collar bomber jackets, Going Out tops and French manicures on the map. Her repertoire of fashion and style moments almost reads like a credentials list for a Video Vanguard award rather than a Fashion Icon award. This is a good place for a gentle reminder that J. Lo was awarded the Video Vanguard Award at last year’s VMA ceremony, an incident that also sparked conversations that Missy Elliot was much more deserving. On a related note, I noticed a lot of people who would’ve preferred Lil Kim be honored with the Fashion Icon award, for her unwavering fashion impact that can still be seen very clearly within the fashion and music industries. Lil Kim changed the image of the female rapper. She did so with the help of her stylist Misa Hylton, ushering in another leg of the conversation of black individuals who are so deserving of recognition for their contributions to the fashion industry but are often overlooked—Hylton, June Ambrose, Andre Leon Talley. These are just a few names of the true arbitrators of style and immaculate taste, running the show behind the scenes and really deserve so much more, but I digress. That’s a topic to dive deeper into on a different day.
There is much to be debated—and much that has been debated—on whether or not Jennifer Lopez truly deserves the title of Fashion Icon. Nevertheless, on June 3, the “Waiting for Tonight” songstress and recent Pretty Little Thing collaborator will claim and take home this prize. Major congratulations are in order for J. Lo in receiving this award from the fashion industry.
It’s now your turn to decide where you stand on this subject. Do you think J. Lo is a Fashion Icon or just knows how to wear a great garment? Was she a true innovator who carved a lane for sexy, chic fashion (especially on the red carpet) or did she and her team have a great handle on dressing for her body type and sticking to what worked for her?
If not J. Lo, who do you feel would be a great recipient for the Fashion Icon award?
Definitely share your thoughts. I would to hear what you all think!!
Mama is HONING IN on her personal style! These fashion choices have been on point!
Image Credit: IG / @marsaimartin
Marsai Martin has been making quite the splash in Hollywood. The young legend launched her production company, Genius Productions, earlier this year and is the youngest executive producer of major motion picture in history with the help of her film Little.
Day by day, with each red carpet and press appearance, the Little star is catching some major attention in fashion. With the help of her stylist Jason Rembert, Martin’s looks have been impeccable, donning beautiful and fun pieces from designers like Pamella Roman, Esteban Cortaz, Georges Hobeika and more.
Martin’s looks from the press tour for Little were what really caught my attention. The amazing thing about the Black-ish star’s style evolution is that at the tender age of 14, her sartorial essence exudes the bold, fun, bright and cool youthfulness as well as the elegant, classic and poised maturity that is present in her personality. Stylist Jason Rembert has been able to style the young actress in a way that doesn’t age her, yet captures the wise-beyond-her-years nature of her persona.
Basically, wisdom + youth, but make it fashion.
Check out some of my fav looks from the actress + executive producer on her press tour (alongside Issa Rae and Regina Hall—who have also been serving some really amazing looks).
Her style isn’t too aggressive or trying to hard; it’s just right and so good. I can’t wait to see how her style elevates and the magic that her and Jason deliver next.
Marsai Martin is a name that everyone should become very familiar with. She is #blackgirlmagic personified, and great things are ahead for her—in power moves and in style moments. Prepare for the impending slay accordingly!
& run, don't walk, to your nearest theater to see Little, OUT NOW!
Image Credit: Observer
No matter how you feel about Nipsey Hussle, you can’t deny the work he put in to uplift his community. He had genuine love for uplifting people and for spreading knowledge that would inspire and empower people to build something that would leave a lasting effect on our communities. His legacy is definitely one that will live on.
I have to admit that I hadn’t been one to stay abreast of the endeavors of the late rapper and philanthropist. There was dope music, humanitarian efforts, moves made to educate the community in S.T.E.M, creating opportunities for locals, and real estate investments to put money back into and improve the community; it was amazing to realize all he had accomplished and the plans he had for the future. However, it was through seeing the impact he had on his community in South Central L.A., the lives he was able to touch all over the world that I saw the essence of who the “Down as a Great” artist was—a man with a heart for people.
I hope we never forget the work that he put in and are empowered to do the work in our own communities to come up together and pour into the spaces that led us to becoming the people we are today. The marathon continues.
Image Credit: Billboard
I was particularly interested in what Nipsey was able to do with his clothing brand and “Smartstore” location, Marathon Clothing. The business model is a great case study for an example of a successful start-up retail business that caters to today’s consumer. There is an emphasis on curating a unique lifestyle experience that combines elements from the physical and digital spaces, one that fuses together the worlds of retail and fashion, music and technology. Through Marathon Clothing (and the other properties he bought out in the same area), more business opportunities were also created in the Crenshaw neighborhood.
Image Credit: IG / @themarathonstore
The Grammy-nominated artist launched the Marathon line in June 2017, with the goal of becoming an urban Sanrio—the Japanese company that designs, licenses and produces products inspired by Japanese culture and more affectionately known as the company that brought Hello Kitty to the market—as the goal the company. The brick and mortar Marathon location carries apparel, music accessories, jerseys and footwear with something for everyone. The Puma collaborator saw a need and filled it, starting within his community, in an effort to blend the worlds of hip-hop, technology and fashion. This contribution cannot be ignored.
In a statement regarding the Marathon brand, the 33-year-old had this to say: “This is us trying to disrupt retail, create a theme park for the brand. This is us trying to create a retail network to become vertically integrated. This is us trying to super-serve the core with an upgraded experience. This is us trying to fuse hip-hop, fashion, and tech. We believe that's what the Marathon store is. It's an immature concept. It hasn't evolved to its fullest form yet. But I think we're in the process of seeing technology integrated with everything, become a part of the world. So, I think that we're just putting our chips on experience. We think this is where retail is going. So, we want to be one of the leaders.”
The amount of vision that he had and his team of partners still have for The Marathon Clothing is something that one can’t help but root for.
Image Credit: YouTube
Taking a look at the man behind the fashion brand, I loved the simplicity of the Crenshaw native’s sartorial choices. Whether he was rocking a tee + signature chain combo or a tracksuit or designer pieces, his style always gave off an effortlessly cool vibe. Very L.A.
Just a cool dude who wanted to look fly—you can’t help but appreciate his style!
Not to mention the GQ shoot starring him and girlfriend Lauren London showed us that there wasn’t a look he couldn’t pull off!
Image Credit: GQ
RIP Nipsey Hussle—a soul that will forever be missed.
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