South African designer Gavin Rajah is embroiled in yet another scandal as New-York based Asian-American designer Chelsea Liu called him out in a Facebook post for stealing her images and passing them off as his own designs in an interview with the the English-Arabic magazine, Harayer.
She proves her point with a series of photos and screen shots posted to her Facebook page:
Woman Online lifestyle magazine reported that Liu had worked with Rajah in the past on an exclusive bridal line in June 2015 and that is how he was exposed to her work.
Following Liu’s posts, Rajah then proceeded to e-mail her husband and ask her to remove the posts or he would, to put it simply, report her to US immigration services for cyber bullying.
Rajah has, in the past, been accused of stealing from and appropriating the work of numerous designers. In light of the latest scandal, here is a recap:
Rajah claimed to have co-developed a special technique that involved moulding leather pieces into pebble shapes and then embroidering them on to mesh by hand. The end product was dubbed the“pebble dress”.
A website calling for votes to the competition stated “Rajah’s studio pioneered the technique to foil ostrich skins with the Klein Karoo Co-op last year. After the technique attracted interest from international fashion brands, the studio decided to create their own textiles in foiled leathers.”
Klein Karoo International’s ostrich leather division denied these claims though, stating that they developed the technique and Rajah had never worked with them on it.
According to News24, “Die Burger reported that Cape Town designer and fabric shop owner Paul van Zyl stocked a product remarkably similar to Rajah’s pebble fabric – and has done so since August 2012.”
“I bought almost the identical fabric from one of my reputable suppliers in India,” Van Zyl told the paper. Adding that “Gavin definitely did not buy the fabric from me, nor do I think he saw it in my shop as he never shops with us. He also did not buy it from my supplier in India directly, as they confirmed this”
Rajah denied this, of course.
2. Lebanese designer Zuhair Murad
Then, in 2014, he was accused of copying a Zuhair Murad design. One look at both dresses makes it hard to believe that this was just a coincidence…
3. UK designer Han Chong
There was also that Han Chong dress…
4. Morgan Deane’s L’Ormarins Queen’s plate dress
Earilier this year, Graeme Smith’s ex wife had asked Rajah to dress her for the annual horse-racing event, the L’Ormarins Queen’s plate.
She clearly isn’t big on fashion because any fashion lover who has been on the internet would have recognized the design from some or other blog.
Deane however, believed the Three Floor Fashion dress was a Gavin Rajah original and she celebrated being featured in a Women24 post about the day’s fashion at the L’Ormarins Queen’s plate by tweeting about it.
Rajah then responded to her tweet by correcting her about who the dress was designed by Three Floor Fashion UK.
Deane then responded by explaining that she had contacted Gavin Rajah’s office, expecting to be dressed by the brand so she naturally assumed it was their design when she arrived to pick up her dress and she was given that garment without any explanation.
News24 reported that Three Floor Fashion director Yvonne Hoang told DispatchLive that the dress was conceptualized by her team in 2013 and that Rajah was not an authorised Three Floor stockist.
Damn Gavin, strike number 5? You’ve gone beyond looking suspect. We just don’t believe you anymore.
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