Did Brazilian Designer Silvia Ulson Plagiarize African Print Swimwear Brand B-Fyne? Is Cultural Appropriation Involved?

by Nana Tamakloe
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Nigeria Racism In Fashion

Brazilian designer Silvia Ulson took to Miami Swimwear Fashion Week to showcase her latest swimwear collection. However one outfit in the collection seemed to rub shoulders with US based Nigerian designer brand B Fyne. B Fyne is known for making various viral swimsuits. They began to go viral, or atleast amongst black social media when they incorporated African print, mainly Angelina print into their designs.




In many cases with African print designers, it is hard to point of finger of who plagiarized when a similar outfit goes out, because many time their work is generally an emulation of designs that are already out except made with African print. However, this may not be the case, as Silvia Ulson’s showcased a dress that was totally identical to the viral design by Nigerian-American designer Buki Ade, founder of B Fyne.


The issue has not only raised a plagiarize scandal, but the question of race is being brought into the picture by various bloggers. And that question is centered around cultural appropriation, as of the designer being white and using what is commonly known as African print.

However here what I am concerned about when it comes to African designers. Besides shaming the plagiarizer on blogs, there is very little that can be done. Firstly we hardly or never trademark our work, secondly, we do not have the finances to go through such legal battles. After watching the Christian Louboutin red soul battle as seen below, and the 6year legal court case they went through to challenge a rival that emulated them, I doubt we have designers that will go through this for a design.

So what do you think guys?



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