What's going on with Alexander Wang? Mere months ago, he issued a non-apology following a bit of gaslighting in light of sexual assault allegations, and now Wang is back in the hot seat with a multi-million dollar copyright lawsuit. $75 million, to be specific.
Diroma, as she is called in the suit, submitted her portfolio to Wang's company as part of several application processes in late 2018. Reportedly, a talent acquisition consultant then reached out to speak further. According to Diroma, the conversation shifted specifically to the Jangle Vision Twins, "androgynous-presenting female characters" with "lithe, angular" bodies and "skin-tight full body suits" that only open at the eyes and mouth, according to the suit and included imagery
After this, Diroma was prompted to email Wang's company a selection of new design work. She never heard from Wang or the consultant again. In July 2020, Diroma was clued to an Alexander Wang ad on the brand's Instagram and Facebook pages and Wang's personal Instagram page (it appears to have been deleted off the brand's Instagram page). In it, bodysuit-clad characters sit atop one of Wang's rhinestone-encrusted handbags.
In light of this perceived imitation, Diroma is asking for $6 million in damages, plus an additional $75 million as her cut of the profits generated from the presumed sales of the bags spotlighted in Wang's ads. This campaign included both the above video and a photo shoot with a latex-clad model.
Here's the thing: Diroma's designs aren't necessarily unique. Her Jangle Vision Twins designs are partially protected by copyright, but only Diroma's two-dimensional artwork and an accompanying video are legally covered.
Further, it's notoriously difficult to trademark clothing — Diroma isn't claiming that the bags or actual outfits are her design, of course, but her characters' appearances recall that of the latex fetish community, perhaps allowing Wang to claim generalized references with his own ads.
And, then, Diroma's lawyers may have to prove that Wang's team actually lifted her work from that email and the portfolio submissions. I'm no lawyer, nor sympathetic to Wang's causes, but seems like Diroma's case is set for an uphill battle.
Highsnobiety has reached out to Diroma for comment.