When it comes to copying or ‘taking inspiration’ it is usually the Indians who are mostly held guilty of. 

Whether it be in music, films or even fashion, often times it is Indians who blatantly ‘take inspiration’ from the Western counterparts and then pass it off as their own. 

However, it seems that the tables are turning a bit these days, with the news of American designer Sherri Hill copying Indian designer Sabyasachi’s design. 

To be honest, copies of the designs of some of the biggest Indian designers are extremely easy to find in places like Chandni Chowk etc, where you get almost the exact copy of say a Sabyasachi or Anita Dongre or Manish Malhotra for half its original price. 

But that’s India, you expect that and also its pretty common practice across the world for small time clothing shop owners to sell off these copies at a much more affordable price. 

You don’t really expect the same kind of thing from well known designers that too an American copying an Indian. 

What Happened?

The similarity between the two designs was first reported by an Instagram page called, Diet Sabya. 

The page has often pointed out copy-cats in the Indian fashion and designing industry. Not long ago, it called out popular TV star Divyanka Tripathi for wearing a Sabyasachi copied/inspired belt. The page put together an image of Tripathi wearing the copy with Aishwarya Rai on the other side wearing the original. 

Now, it has struck on Sherri Hill, for allegedly copying Sabyasachi’s design from his 2016 Firdaus Couture Collection. 


The dress came into limelight when 2018’s Miss Universe, Catriona Gray, was seen wearing it at the fall 2019 show of Sherri Hill at the recently concluded New York Fashion Week. 

The dress that the beauty from Philippines was wearing was said to be designed by Hill herself. However, when pictures of Gray wearing the dress came out, it instantly created an uproar online, with many pointing out the obvious similarities between this and the Sabyasachi dress. 

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The black velvet front-silt dress with Sabyasachi’s signature floral embellishments quickly caught the eye of many. 

Where the original version is a more traditional Indian suit, Gray paired hers in a jacket style with a short skirt and slicked back hair. 

Even the heavy work on the cuffs, a heavily embellished belt under the bust and zari works on the lines all are making the two outfits even more similar. 

Sabyasachi’s Firdaus collection was also termed as the Modern Heirloom since it took inspiration from countries like Bumra and Kenya, and the use of coconut trees, birds and flowers as motifs in the designs was particularly appreciated by the fashion industry.

It should be noted that Sherri Hill has dressed American stars like Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Kendall Jenner, Miranda Lambert, etc.  

And surprisingly, Hill herself has been a vocal advocate against people making money off of creating knock off designer goods. 

In 2012, she even won $5,000,000 in a case against 2 online counterfeiters who were using her name to sell fake gowns. 

sabyasachi copy

This makes her using Sabyasachi’s designs so blatantly, without even changing them all the more surprising. 

Gray has been getting a lot of trolling due to her wearing the dress, however, the real person to accuse or ask questions of would be Hill, the designer herself. Who would have had a better knowledge of which design is from where.

Image Credits: Google

Sources: Times of India, Hindustan Times, LatestLY

Find the blogger @chirali_08

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