In the era of social media comparing celebrities’ similar outfits there’s one aspect missing: crediting the designer.
Since the beginning of tabloid and blogger culture one of the hottest topics to get massive clicks would be the “who wore it better” pieces where people would compare our favorite celebrities wearing the same fit.
Though it started as good fun, it has morphed into a shady moment, especially when stans are involved. Recently, Jayda Cheaves posted a photo wearing a custom Jordon Willis metal tank top on Instagram. Little did Willis know that moment would take a turn.
Soon after Cheaves made her post, raptress Chinese Kitty posted it on her Instagram story, writing, “Just know the first girl to wear this, but it’s cute. Real-life #trendsetter.” Still, it didn’t stop there. Later, rapper Asian Da Brat jumped into the situation to let everyone know she started it first.
Though it was a messy incident in the Instagram post, many viewers saw who designed the piece: Jordon Willis. His love for fashion began watching his mother during his formative years and progressed into drawing in his sketchbook and bringing his passion for being fly to life.
If you’ve ever purchased a Jordon Willis original, you know it consists of elaborate patterns, bold colors and accessories galore. “I love jewelry, I love accessorizing, and I think jewelry is such an art form in itself in fashion, and I loved that I could combine the two,” Willis tells GU.
He compares creating his signature designs to painting a picture and genuinely unleashing his inner disruptor to perfect each article of clothing. Thanks to his grit and determination, he’s been able to design garments that have reached creatives like Maliibu Miitch, Aliyahsinterlude and Cardi B.
“I’m so happy that the [pieces] have made this success because it speaks for me as a designer,” he says. “I think it’s honestly a staple in Black fashion because as I’ve become a Black designer, everything is taken from you.”
For many outsiders on social media, it’s become a pattern seeing fast fashion brands rip off Black designers and ignore their impact. Although platforms like The Shaderoom post these pieces, they don’t do the creators justice because they aren’t tagged or credited for their work.
“People feel like it’s okay just to steal the idea and try to replicate it,” he says. “So it’s funny when people replicate it because people are just going off a picture they see, but you don’t see the essence.”
So next time instead of commenting on who wore a specific piece better, think of the designer who crafted these pieces and give them the spotlight.
About Kenyatta: Clark Atlanta University and Medill School alumna Kenyatta Victoria is the Girls United writer covering everything from news, pop culture, lifestyle, and investigative stories. When she’s not reporting, she’s diving deep into her curated playlists or binging her favorite comfort shows.