On Monday, social media account Diet Prada – which posts about injustices in the fashion industry – shared three side-by-side images of models wearing a pair of identical black briefs and a bra.
On the left hand side of the photographs stands a blonde model wearing a pair of sheer black underwear designed by Agent Provocateur. On the right hand side, two models who represent Victoria’s Secret wear like-for-like designs.
In the photograph's caption, a spokesperson behind the account states that they were unable to “spot any differences” between the two designs.
“Here’s a theory — the teams are too busy watching the news to design so they just keep ordering other designer lingerie to knock off instead lol, [sic]” a excerpt from the post’s caption reads.
The Victoria’s Secret “Mesh Plunge Bra” is currently on sale online for $59.50 (£49.21) and the “Striped Mesh Cheekini Panty” for $29.50 (£24.40). Diet Prada’s post states that Agent Provocateur’s underwear set was released in summer last year. It is currently unavailable to buy online.
The post also referenced the recent controversy surrounding Les Wexner, chairman and CEO of Victoria’s Secret’s parent brand L Brands, and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The New York Times recently reported that Epstein, who killed himself in a Manhattan prison earlier this month, presented himself to models as a scout for the brand.
Wexner has denied any knowledge of such conduct. Last month, L Brands’ board of directors said it had hired an outside law firm to conduct a review of Epstein’s role at the retail company.
A segment of the Instagram reads: “How many more coffin nails do we need before we can call @victoriassecret dead? The knockoffs almost seem petty when you hold them up against the Epstein/Wexner ties. [sic]”
The post also features a video of model Kate Upton, who previously worked with Victoria’s Secret, alluding to the ongoing controversy of the brand's lack of body inclusivity on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
When questioned about her thoughts on the brand reportedly not hosting its annual fashion show this year, Upton said: “We’re sick of seeing the same body type. You have to be body inclusive now. Every woman needs to be represented, otherwise it’s a snoozefest.”
“We’re with you, Kate. See you at the funeral?” the Diet Prada spokesperson concluded the post.
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Diet Prada’s post has been liked over 26,000 times on Instagram and several of its followers have praised Upton for speaking out about the brand’s lack of diversity on the catwalk and in campaigns.
According to receipts obtained by Diet Prada, a spokesperson behind the account claims that an associate buyer with the lingerie brand allegedly purchased $12,656 (£10,469)-worth of Fleur du Mal's lingerie to copy.
Last month, Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik claimed that the lingerie brand’s annual fashion show will not be happening this year.
The 28-year-old told Australia's Daily Telegraph that the 2019 fashion event had been cancelled, but that she believes the runway show will be back in the future.
“Unfortunately the Victoria’s Secret Show won’t be happening this year,” she said. “It’s something that I’m not used to because every year around this time I’m training like an angel.”
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Days later, Model Alliance, a non-profit research and advocacy organisation, announced that over 100 models had signed a letter addressed to John Mehas, the US lingerie brand’s chief executive, urging the company to make a legal commitment to protect its employees from sexual misconduct.
Victoria’s Secret “Angel” Doutzen Kroes and supermodels Christy Turlington, Edie Campbell, Gemma Ward, Iskra Lawrence, Karen Elson and Milla Jovovich were among the models who signed the petition.
The Independent has contacted Fleur du Mal, Victoria’s Secret and Agent Provcateur for comment.