Two Sides Of The Story: Did Vivy Yusof’s dUCk Plagiarise Local Brands Designs?
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing uncertainty over the extent of the festivities for Raya this year, designers are slowly unveiling their collections for the festive season. But it seems that one brand’s collection unveil has caused controversy once again (yes, this isn’t the first time for them).
dUCk brand owner, Vivy Yusof released the brands latest “The Artsy dUCk” collection last night. The collection features delicate paint-like prints and splotches in eight different designs/colours with the names Charm, Bliss, Fantasy, Whimsical, Dreamy, Joy, Romance and Desire. The pretty designs are true to their names – they would bring a touch of whimsy and charm any outfit. However, after Vivy posted the campaign photo on her Instagram, model Sleepylllama’s (Nia Atasha/ Sleepy Studio) comment on the photo raised eyebrows.
Not long after, Sleepylllama took to her Instagram stories to call out dUCk for the similarities between their “Artsy dUCk” collection and Nia’s collection with Soonaru from December 2018. Recalling the collection, Sleepy explained how she collaborated with the local brand two years ago with her designing and illustrating the collection herself. And while she doesn’t blatantly accuse dUCk of plagiarising their collection, she does say that they are “a lil too similar”.
At first glance, the concepts and styling for both collections are uncanny in their resemblance – casual outfits, paint equipment and both designers holding brushes while pondering the meaning of life. Nia goes on to recap the designs that she did for her collection with Soonaru.
Here are the designs in question from dUCk:
Nia addresses the fact that originality in the 21st century is difficult, as almost everything that is produced now is sampled from something that has already been done. Again, she reiterates that she does not want to “claim” or “accuse” but that the concept of the shoot makes her uncomfortable. She posted a screengrab of the collaboration plans with Soonary from May 2018 to confirm that they were put in place way before they were released later that year in December. One point that works against dUCk here is that Sleepylllama’s collection with Soonaru was released with FashionValet, of which Vivy Yusof (owner of dUCk) co-founded. Nia confirms that they had access to the designs and concepts for the scarfs and packaging.
At this point, Vivy Yusof took to her own Instagram stories to refute Nia’s claims. She brings up the fact that dUCk is facing “accusations” of plagiarism again (previous claims were for a turban design) and says that she accepts the accusations as a natural aftereffect of any form of artistic similarity. Yusof says that she couldn’t stay quiet because “this time, it’s by a really sweet person”. She goes on to refute the claims with a screenshot of emails with the design from June 2018. Referring back to Nia’s email screengrab, her plans were put in place a month before Yusof’s. Was there enough time for designers to see the designs from Nia and tweak them for Vivy’s “Threesome Pen Stationery set”?
Vivy Yusof goes on to clarify that the campaign shoot was done in an art studio as it suited the theme of the collection and that she felt the pain her designers felt as a result of these accusations. Nia, in turn, responded to Yusof’s explanation. She reminds everyone that she does not claim that the designs are exactly the same, just really similar. She also alludes to the multiple accusations that dUCk has faced with regards to designs that were “copied/inspired by” and puts dUCk’s design team on blast,
“The ONLY accusation I’ll make here is that you need a NEW creative team because whoever you have now is constantly putting you to shame. And to be accused of this matter again and again, wouldn’t that be tiring? Wouldn’t you think there is something wrong with your team perhaps? Was there no research done? You and your team’s heart breaks a little? IMAGINE MINE! Why? Because we KNOW we could never win against you and the power you have.
Soonaru has also taken to their Instagram profile to share their grievances on the matter. Sharing the original photos from the campaign, they captioned the images,
“For those who has been with us from the begining will definitely knows the design for #soonaruxsleepystudio. Also we are very overwhelmed by the love and support by all.
Knowing this actually break ours and Nia’s heart, the efforts, the brainstorms, the art by Nia are actually time consuming.”
View this post on Instagram
It has been 2 years after we launch #soonaruxsleepystudio. We still remember all the efforts that we did together with Nia are the best memories & we really am glad that we finally pull this off together . • For those who has been with us from the begining will definitely knows the design for #soonaruxsleepystudio. Also we are very overwhelmed by the love and support by all. Knowing this actually break ours and Nia’s heart, the efforts, the brainstorms, the art by Nia are actually time consuming . • But we thanked you for all the love and support for #soonaruxsleepystudio. This collaboration means a lot to us. Speechless it is . • #soonaru #soonaruxsleepystudio #soonarucollection #soonaruofficial
At present, the Sleepy Studio X Soonaru scarf collaboration is still available for purchase on FashionValet. Neither party have shared any information on whether or not the air has been cleared but fans are clearly unhappy with the whole debacle.
Fellow model and actor, Alicia Amin, also took to her personal Instagram account to rally support for Nia.
Nia does not discredit Vivy’s efforts to give back to the community with the sales of the “Artsy dUCk” collection. As per Vivy’s IG story, a portion of the proceeds from the collection will support the children at the Pusat Jagaan Amal Asyura orphanage. Nia explains that she does not wish for the collection to be boycotted, simply that the matter of plagiarism should be addressed by the brand.
There are undeniable similarities between the two collections; we hope that both parties can reach an agreement and proper credit is given where due (if needed). At the end of the day, there is no need to “cancel” someone.
*Likely has reached out to both Nia (Sleepylllama) and Vivy Yusof. While Nia has yet to respond, Vivy has declined to comment.