Dallas fashion designer Charles Smith II launched his “Do Not Touch” collection in October of last year. Last week, he wrote a lengthy Facebook post saying that Forever 21 ripped off his idea for a bralette available on their site. This came after Instagram model Rosa Acosta posted a video in which she was wearing a bra that said “Do Not Touch” on it. When Smith II began receiving congratulatory messages, he realized something was wrong.
He says that the corporation saw his design that he’d been working on since the beginning of 2016 and created a much cheaper version of it. His version retails for $280, while Forever 21’s costs just $4. Although the full “Do Not Touch” line has not been available online, it’s been visible for months. Proceeds from the line have also supported Dallas Independent School District and created scholarship funds for kids.
Smith II says his legal recourse lies in the timing factor. He has started going through all his records and plans to take legal action in the next few weeks, as well as appear on local CBS 11 this week to talk about the issue. He also plans to have his entire “Do Not Touch” collection up for sale on his website either this week or the next. And he doesn’t want a settlement, like other emerging designers who’ve dealt with similar situations before. “I’m coming for everything.”