Look At ‘Em Sippin The Sauce: How Fendi Stole From Bas’ Fiends Design
It’s been done since the beginning of time. Big businesses stealing ideas from creatives. Even the inventions of the radio and telephone are infamous in history for the debate of who should get the credit for creating them. Stealing ideas and taking credit has been done in fashion, music, writing, inventions, anything that involves being creative really. Major corporations feel safe stealing ideas because with their reputations, money, and systems set up to protect them, their actions often go unchecked. When it comes to those within our culture we refuse to let these issues go on unaddressed.
Fendi doesn’t need much introduction but keeping it simple, it is a multinational Italian luxury fashion brand that was founded in 1925, and makes millions of dollars from its line of products. If you’re into dope Hip-Hop, Bas shouldn’t need much of an introduction either. The Queens, NY representative was signed to Dreamville/Interscope by J. Cole in 2014. He’s been building buzz ever since his debut Last Winter and has established a line of clothing through his FIENDS brand. While the main spot to purchase FIENDS apparel is online, Bas has had multiple pop up shops in places like NYC and LA for the FIENDS apparel as well. The name “FIENDS” comes from when Bas and his crew used to always call themselves fiends growing up. The Fiends crew became his creative collective of people who work his website, help with marketing, produce music, graphic design, etc. The classic FIENDS design that’s been around since it was established in 2010 is simple and unmistakable with its bright and colorful lettering.
It’s been rocked and supported by not only plenty of fans of the FIENDS movement, whose motivational motto is that “Everybody fiends for something,” but its also been sported by important radio figures in the Hip-Hop world such as Sway and Funkmaster Flex.
Which is why when you see this…
… you know where they got the inspiration for this from. Now, it’s OK to be inspired by something and launch your idea off that, but there’s a difference between being inspired and blatant copying. To be fair, the Fendi version does have fuzzy letters and a slightly less use of and different ordering of the colors on the FIENDS design, but they are still both way too similar. For a price comparison, Bas’ FIENDS hoodie goes for between $60 to $75 and Fendi’s grey hoodie pictured above goes for $834 according to one website.
They even put the design on a backpack and are charging $1,800 for it on their official website.
Other than his Instagram response, Bas recently released his new single “Housewives” which was featured on the Dreamville compilation Revenge of the Dreamers 2 and will be on his upcoming album Too High to Riot. The song appears to contain somewhat of a response to Fendi…
Let’s be honest…this is nothing new. Outsiders are constantly stealing from our culture. When black girls were twerking, it was “ghetto” and “ratchet.” When Miley did it, not only was it accepted, it became profitable. While “twerking” has clearly come from black culture, people not of black culture, have began profiting off twerking and blocking black women from being involved. Even when it’s not tied directly to the culture, people from within the culture are getting their ideas “borrowed.” Marketing execs are flocking to Snapchat in droves trying to capitalize on it’s newly recognized marketing ability using phrases like “major key alert” and “mogul talk” ripped directly from DJ Khaled’s Snapchat. The Bas FIENDS vs Fendi situation is an undeniable, visual example of not only Hip-Hop’s influence, but outsider’s attempts to profit from it without including those involved.
Biting (copying others ideas without paying homage…for the outsiders) has never been accepted within the culture of Hip-Hop. With that being said, the obvious response from those within the culture should be to not support outsiders who steal from our culture. Not only should those within the culture not support brands like Fendi, they should put more support behind Bas and his FIENDS brand to send a clear message that we support our own and imitation from the outside won’t be tolerated. If Fendi was truly “inspired” by Bas and his team, the proper move would have been to bring them on and have them consult with their design team. Running a Bas inspired line would have been beneficial to all parties involved. Both would have profited financially, Bas would get the recognition for the Fendi affiliation, and Fendi would have somebody who clearly knows what people are feeling.
To anyone that has ever stolen an idea, get your own. If you can’t, then no disrespect, but maybe you’re in the wrong field. We’re not fooled. If you move the letter “i” in front of the “F” in Fendi, you get Fiend, and an original is always better than a copy.
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