Red Velvet Reveals New Collab With Designer After Plagiarism Controversy
Six months after Red Velvet came under fire for plagiarism of outfits by designer Paris 99, the two have revealed a clothing collaboration together.
Not long after Red Velvet released their summer hit “Umpah Umpah”, the comeback came under controversy for plagiarism. But the accusations weren’t of music plagiarism, as has been the case for many K-Pop comebacks in the past. Instead, Red Velvet was accused of plagiarizing outfits and concepts in their “Umpah Umpah” teasers and music video.
The teasers for “Umpah Umpah” covered two outfit concepts. The first was a pink space cowgirl theme shot in the desert.
The second was a picnic-themed shoot where the Red Velvet members wore pretty gingham dresses in their representative colors.
Each dress used a different cut of gingham fabric, and the cut-outs and hems were finished with a wavy trim.
The group then wore the outfits again in several scenes in the music video.
To the majority of ReVeluvs, the dresses looked cute, stylish, and most importantly unique. However, not long after “Umpah Umpah” was released, it became clear that this was not the case at all.
About a week after the comeback, a designer by the name of Paris 99 posted an Instagram story that soon made it to the ReVeluv sphere. In the post, Paris 99 accused Red Velvet of “taking heavy ‘inspiration’” from her work—both the designs of the dresses, and the concept imagery she created with photographer and video artist Ondine Viñao.
While ReVeluvs were quick to point out to Paris 99 that the fault lay with SM Entertainment, not Red Velvet themselves, even fans couldn’t ignore the striking similarities between the outfits.
Paris 99’s dresses used a much larger gingham print than Red Velvet’s, but the trim and cut-outs on all the dresses were almost exactly the same. Accusations of imagery plagiarism were more of a stretch, but both shoots did include grassy outdoor photos.
Not long after posting her first Instagram story, Paris 99 did update to clarify that she was grateful to fans who pointed out that the Red Velvet members did not choose or create the outfits themselves, and pressed that she was looking forward to hearing from SM Entertainment.
The outfits came under fire right in the middle of Red Velvet’s “Umpah Umpah” promotions, and ReVeluvs waited with bated breath to see how it would affect the group’s stage styling. As expected, the plagiarized outfits never made it to a live performance. But 10 days after the issue came to light, Paris 99 posted a somewhat cryptic message confirming the whole matter had been resolved.
Paris 99 did say she looked forward to working with SM Entertainment in the future, but fans didn’t expect anything to come of it. But now, over 6 months later, the company has announced a surprise collaboration with the brand.
— Red Velvet (@RVsmtown) March 5, 2020
The photos on the official Red Velvet Twitter and Instagram channels are simply captioned “Red Velvet X Paris99 Collaboration”. In them, the members are pictured wearing pink gingham dresses in a different style to those they wore for “Umpah Umpah”.
The dresses appear to be made from sheer gingham with a pink lining, and each one is made in a different style. The designs are similar to those Paris 99’s new Spring/Summer 2020 collection. Wendy is not pictured; due to her injuries, it’s likely she was unable to participate in the shoot.
As of right now, it’s not clear whether Red Velvet will be modelling for the brand further or wearing Paris 99 dresses in any of their future music videos. Both parties are also yet to reveal whether Red Velvet had an input in the designs. But one thing’s for sure—all four members pull them off beautifully.