“Good artists copy; great artists steal,” is a quote that was adopted by various industries: Steve Jobs in technology; Pablo Picasso in art; Igor Stravinsky in music; and has certainly been welcomed in the fashion industry.
Los Angeles streetwear designer, Bana Bongolan, who directs the Diamond Supply Co. women’s division and has worked with brands such as Crooks & Castles, LRG, Young & Reckless, and Married to the Mob, earlier last week got into a little bit of a situation with returning brand Von Dutch. Recently,the brand has been in the media with strong support from Kylie Jenner rocking their gear in hopes of making a comeback. With this in mind, Bana decided to take her own spin on the infamous Von Dutch Trucker hats since they are both coming back into play anyway in fashion.
Bana had been curating this idea for over four months when she acquired a large amount of dead stock Von Dutch hats from a large European importer and exporter. Her vision was to pay homage to the brand she watched growing up, by reviving their hats by adding a modern spin of style to the truckers she had purchased.
We have seen this trend is streetwear and fashion over the past decade or so. Most notably in recent times Heron Preston and his upside down Nascar shirts which quickly gained attention on blogs and social media. In addition, Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God sold vintage band shirts with his logo aside popular bands from the metal era. That’s only a tip of the iceberg to the fact that in streetwear alone, many brands use major companies or other brands to show creative freedom of expression with their own twist. Fashion trends are more recently being borrowed from the past and recreated through the vision designers in today’s generation who in actuality respect the vintage aspects of our past.
After an hour into the release of Bana’s “Bon Vutch” trucker hat, which features an upside down patch and her insignia on the rear of the hat. Von Dutch’s Instagram page @von_dutch_official began to claim that Bana’s hats are non authentic and they would be pursuing action against her brand. Her management later gave their take saying:
“Bana simply seeks to satisfy her creative habits by adding a spin on these hats that she purchased and reselling her property via her online shop; but most importantly, paying homage to a brand that she feels is on the rise once again.”
Now in my opinion, that’s a sort of bad move on their, Von Dutch, behalf especially if they’re making a comeback. Bana is the queen of Diamond supply and business senses probably would’ve been more on the side of supporting creativity and homage rather than going after the person. I understand that stealing from someone to the point of it being identical is by all means something to get mad about, but not when it’s a play on words that pays tribute to a company with deep heritage. On top of that, why not see if they can form a collab together as it will actually help get Von Dutch to the younger generation, but I give them props for picking Kylie over the other Kardashians.
After communicating with the brand, that she does not manufacture unauthorized merchandise, nor condone it, the two brands have allegedly came to an agreement and we might be seeing a beautiful partnership in the works. Let’s hope Von Dutch learned a little something through this and that both sides come together to create for the love of awesome design and clothing.