Yesterday, Cara Delevingne posted an Instagram shot of herself and Adwoa Aboah wearing sweatshirts with the logo “The Future is Female.” Available for purchase at Represent, it is “a re-creation of the original short worn by Alix Dobkin in 1975 in a photograph by Liza Cowan.” The proceeds from every shirt sold is said to support Girl Up’s campaign.
Cara and her girlfriend Annie Clark a.k.a St. Vincent were photographed wearing these sweatshirts created by the design collective “Otherwild”. Cara wrote on her post, “A lot of you have been asking for one of these – so I decided to put them up for sale, with proceeds going to Girl Up!”
The company wrote on the now-deleted Instagram post that Delevingne “has decided to rip-off” their designs.
Delevingne wrote on her own comments section the following: Otherwild, in response to the controversy, posted another Instagram post to explain that the slogan has been used with permission and are protected under copyright law. ” which mandates that any reproduction of an existing known public work must be altered at least 20% from the original. If model/actress Cara Delevingne wanted to sell my line, she would need to wholesale them from Otherwild, and because we donate 25% of our line’s proceeds to Planned Parenthood, Delevingne’s ethical practice would benefit not only our woman-owned small business but would also serve as a significant donation to PP.”
I took down my post yesterday about #thefutureisfemale controversy, because the negative commentary was overwhelming me, but I wanted to share my thoughts and this image which shows #Otherwild’s sweatshirt on the left, and @caradelevingne’s identical version on the right. The slogan “The Future Is Female” originates from Jane Lurie’s and Marizel Rios’ Labyris Books (1972), and Otherwild used @lizacowan’s image of Alix Dobkin in the shirt (1975) with permission, as originally seen on Kelly Rakowski’s @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y. Otherwild’s redesign and reissue of the FIF tees and buttons is protected under copyright law, which mandates that any reproduction of an existing known public work must be altered at least 20% from the original. If model/actress Cara Delevingne wanted to sell my line, she would need to wholesale them from Otherwild, and because we donate 25% of our line’s proceeds to Planned Parenthood, Delevingne’s ethical practice would benefit not only our woman-owned small business but would also serve as a significant donation to PP. Delevingne could also choose not to wholesale from Otherwild and create her own design of the slogan on clothing to sell. But Delevingne’s choice to lift and manufacture Otherwild’s design, claiming it as her own to sell with an undisclosed charitable offering, is indefensible. Her actions ironically counter the very message of the slogan “The Future Is Female”, and it’s confounding that she would do this to a small queer feminist-owned business after purchasing the product from us just a few weeks ago. Although under pressure, Delevingne has changed the line’s attribution several times in the past 24 hrs., she has not yet offered to wholesale from us nor cease and desist blatantly copying and selling our designs. A photo posted by OTHERWILD (@otherwild) on