Balenciaga Reportedly Ripped off the Work of Student Artist Tra My Nguyen
The brand was allegedly in talks with Nguyen before plagiarizing her art.
Tra My Nguyen, a student from Berlin University of the Arts, has accused Balenciaga of plagiarizing her master’s degree project, a series of fabric-draped motorbikes. The artist called Balenciaga out in an Instagram post providing screenshots of conversations she had with the brand, as well as side-by-side images of her work and an eerily similar photo that Balenciaga posted to Instagram on July 21.
According to Nguyen, a recruiter from Balenciaga’s creative development team visited her university to look at student work. Following her visit the recruiter e-mailed Nguyen and asked for her portfolio. Nguyen complied, providing process and editorial photos of her work. She never received a response. Just days ago, Balenciaga posted an image, strikingly similar to Nguyen’s process photos, of a motorcycle covered in the brand’s garments.
“Rooted in my own family history, from my mother selling her mother bike in order to migrate to Germany, Vietnamese motorbike culture have been a core focus of my work for the past few years,” Nguyen explains. “I feel betrayed and hurt as it’s a part of my culture, it’s an artistic process and not a random fashionable aesthetic you can profit on!” Nguyen added, demanding that Balenciaga issue an apology. As of July 24, neither Balenciaga nor Creative Director Demna Gvsalia have issued a statement regarding the alleged plagiarism.
Head to Tra My Nguyen’s Instagram to read the allegations.