THE DRAMA BEHIND DANIELLE BERNSTEIN AND HER REPUTATION FOR STEALING IDEAS…
Many brands have started creating stylish face masks, amidst a global pandemic it is understandable. Bernstein shared with her followers on her Instagram account, @weworewhat, her new line of linen face masks with an added metal chain.
The Instagram account @diet_prada, who is known for calling people out, shared a side-by-side photo of Danielle’s collection of masks with the small business @bysecondwind.
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You’d think @weworewhat would have learned not to leave a paper trail by now. @americaninfluencercouncil founding member Danielle Bernstein announced today that her @shopweworewhat line would shortly be stocking linen masks adorned with a safety chain. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s a cute idea— and she appears to have lifted it directly from @bysecondwind , who began offering masks June 1st. On June 29, Danielle reached out to the brand via DM, and hustled some free masks. On July 2, she messaged again with a heads up... she was launching her own masks. Don’t worry, though, according to Danielle they’re not a copy! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Well, she finally showed them today and they’re nearly identical, from the linen fabrication down to the unique loop design at the sides to hold the chain. Not sure how this is helping to “sustain the integrity” of influencer marketing “for the ultimate benefit of society” as per the AIC’s goals, but at least there’s one bright side. After her carefree summer galavanting around the Hamptons, Danielle is finally wearing a mask. • #bysecondwind #wearadamnmask #wearamask #weworewhat #daniellebernstein #shopweworewhat #chain #sunglasseschain #accessory #mask #facemask #faceshield #granny #linen #overalls #neutral #asustainable #ecofriendly #receipts #papertrail #influencer #americaninfluencercouncil #blogger #fashion #ootd #wiwt #dietprada
According to the post, Danielle had reached out to the small business owner on Instagram DM, asking for a few face masks. A few days later, Danielle sent another DM to the Latina business owner saying she will also be launching a collection of face masks with the same detachable chain. The DM read “I thought I should let you know I'm also making masks with a detachable chain, similar to the sunglass chains I own, didn’t want you to think I'm copying.”
Karen Perez, the owner of @bysecondwind, released her Instagram post showing her stylish face masks saying they will be available on June 1st. The top comments are all people showing their support.
One comment wrote, “I feel some type of way about your story with @weworewhat cause I've had ideas STOLEN from me before. And had zero credit or acknowledgement.” Another one wrote “I don’t know you but I follow @weworewhat and this isn’t the first time she has stolen ideas from a small biz. Keep your head up, queen”
Perez responded to the drama saying, “My heart dropped… I get it, she collaborates with Macy’s and other big brands. I am no one to her.” She felt defeated, she almost quit. Instead she kept her head held high and said to herself, “I’m going to pick myself up, and I'm going to keep going.”
This is not the first time Danielle Bernstein is being called out, she has previously been called out for creating exact replicas of the indie jewelry brand, Foundrae, for her launch with Nordstrom.
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So a lot of tears have been shed over this case. Real tears for the hardworking designers who saw their designs rendered in base metal and sold for under $100, and crocodile tears from @weworewhat , who is now left with 52% of her “original” collab with @luludk_lifestyle . Here are the other pieces you won’t be able to buy from @jadetrau and @marlolazjewelry . @bagatiba , they still have yours up, let’s get that collection down to less than half its original size. These designers spend all their time and money to create beautiful, meaningful product and often don’t have the resources to protect their designs or litigate. It’s hard to find a solution that pleases all parties, and as of now the offending pieces from the collection are set to be destroyed (could have donated them to a women’s charity, but whatever...). Dieters, let’s check up on our local @nordstrom and @nordstromrack and make sure they’ve actually been pulled from the physical stores (not just from online). • #jadetrau #marlolazjewelry #marlolaz #bagatiba #jewelry #jewelrydesigner #finejewelry #gold #handmade #nordstrom #luludk #weworewhat #dietprada
She was also called out for saying a pair of shorts she was wearing were “vintage gym shorts from the 90s” and that she is “remaking them” for her brand. Turns out they were actually from an Australian Etsy shop @artgarmentsae and the receipts tell a different story. Once again, @diet_prada on Instagram called her out. Bernstein had ordered them from the website and the owner of @artgarmentsau, Grace Corby, had posted Danielles past orders to show they were actually purchased from her shop.
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On July 15, Danielle Bernstein aka @weworewhat posted a picture wearing a pair of simple marigold shorts. “Woke up to so many DMs about these shorts... they’re vintage gym shorts from the 90s and I’m already remaking them for my brand!,” the influencer said, adding that she always finds inspiration in the vintage pieces she collects. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But Australian Etsy shop @artgarmentsau 's receipts tell a different story. Since 2011, Grace Corby has been collecting vintage and selling curated finds online. “I hand source, shoot, edit and upload, measure & describe, hand wrap & post each piece myself.... it's a labour of love and never really feels like work,” she said. Corby's only non-vintage item is a pair of simple elastic-waist shorts, which are clearly listed as “pre-order." After an uptick in sales when her shop was tagged in the comments of WeWoreWhat’s post, she searched her past orders, finding Bernstein had purchased two pairs on Nov. 11, 2019. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As with the chain masks, the issue is not the “originality” of the item, but the apparent conscious choice to exploit smaller businesses. “We all know fashion often references vintage, so I'm not sure why my pairs were chosen as a template and not a true 90s gym short,” Corby said. Her own shorts are based off a €3 Berlin flea market find, worn until the waist lost its stretch. “I took what remained to a local seamstress with some amendments (longer, wider legs for a bit more coverage, stretchier waist).” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Many designers reference vintage, and always have. The best transform it by adding their own flavor, even to basic items. “There are ethical ways to use vintage in the inspiration and design process. Tweaking and personalising. Ensuring you're not siphoning credit and revenue from a small Aussie shop.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bernstein has since updated her caption: “these are from Etsy and I totally thought they were vintage but they are made to order - someone on my team ordered them for me a while back. I will not be making them.” Odd, considering it still says she collects her own vintage pieces. Some free advice for Danielle—save yourself the scandal and just visit a thrift shop or flea market yourself.
What do you think about huge influencers not giving credit to smaller businesses for their ideas?
Let us know in the comments below!