A Major Influencer And A Popular Fashion Copycat Account Are Throwing Jabs At Each Other On Instagram Over A Headband
@Ariellecharnas and @Diet_Prada are accusing each other of a litany of things and weaponizing their millions of followers in their ongoing feud.
Arielle Charnas, the influencer and blogger behind Something Navy, a wildly successful blog turned fashion line, is currently engaged in a public and ongoing beef with equally successful and popular Instagram account Diet Prada.
It all started with a headband design.
Diet Prada is watchdog account that regularly posts designs it accuses of being copied. On Tuesday, it accused Charnas of ripping off a Prada headband for her Something Navy line at Nordstrom.
"We saw you dodging mentioning @prada as the obvious inspo for the padded headbands in your @somethingnavy collection with @nordstrom lol. We get it...not everyone has $240 to spend on one," it wrote. The post also clarified that Prada did not invent the style of headband, but that the luxury brand "revived" it.
Diet Prada, which has 1.2 million followers, then took the opportunity to continue dunking on Charnas by featuring other side-by-side photos of shoe designs it said she copied.
The post on Instagram has already been liked over 30,000 times. At first, avid followers and other watchdog fashion justice warriors rallied behind the accusations. The followers were fed up with influencers "who start their own lines by copying others," as one commenter wrote.
"Wtf do any of the girls offer creatively????" another said about Charnas. "Entitled white girls are a snooze."
Very quickly, however, the matter grew bigger than the original accusation at hand. On Wednesday, Charnas decided to respond to Diet Prada — but not necessarily to the actual plagiarism accusation.
The blogger shared a series of Instagram stories to call out the vicious attacks she's been getting since Diet Prada shared its post.
She circled a number of comments calling her "ugly" and several threats to her life. One especially cruel comment she highlighted brought her young daughter into the controversy. She tagged @diet_prada in all of them.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves," she then added in an IG story press release directed at @diet_prada.
Charnas was not done. In another story, she wrote a long message to Diet Prada, accusing it of "creat[ing] the most negative platform on planet Earth to rally up animals like this."
She then defended herself, saying she simply took "inspiration from street style and runway" and "add[ed] twists to it" to provide products to her followers "who may not be able to afford the trendy, high-end pieces."
Charnas, who also has 1.2 million followers, went on to say Diet Prada had intentionally incited its "gang" to harass her and her family.
At this point, Charnas's fans began defending her on Diet Prada's posts.
It claimed its original copycat accusation argument was weak, and even if she did take the design, one person said, "it's obviously not your job to post bad comments about a influencer who's simply trying to manage her job."
Others simply tried to call for an end to the "vitriol."
Diet Prada's supporters then took to Charnas's Instagram account to accuse her of attempting to divert the spotlight away from her.
One person commented that it was "hysterical" that Charnas — whom they characterized as "a woman who has clearly had everything handed to her on a silver platter" — is accusing @diet_prada of creating a "toxic culture."
"What's toxic is her lack of accountability. She's teaching all of her followers that you can just point the finger & wont have to answer for your wrongdoings," they said.
Another person chimed in to say that it was not Diet Prada's fault for the harassment she's getting. "They can't control what people say after reading their posts," they argued.
If you think it ends here, you may have underestimated just how petty and passive-aggressive (or downright aggressive) this can get.
Diet Prada then shared its own lengthy, exhaustive Instagram story press release in response. "@ariellecharnas, the fragility of equating criticism with hate is not a good look," it began.
The long text went on to read that while the account does not condone the types of sadistic messages Charnas is receiving, it is "not down for deflecting the issue" and blaming it for internet trolls.
The account stated that it takes action against trolls on its own page, like deleting comments that "crosses that line."
It then called Charnas out for calling its followers "animals" and returned the accusation that she was "putting down" someone because of it.
The rest of the text story was laced with more petty jabs.
"We're not going to stop creating our content because you think our ethics are questionable. In the same way that we're going to keep doing what we do, you're probably just going to keep on 'twisting' designer fashions, overproducing bad fits, and damaging the environment with all the returns/Nordstrom Rack overstock we're hearing about," it said.
The account then posted to its Instagram story a screenshot of a definition of the "straw man" fallacy.
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Diet Prada defended its original post and mission to draw attention to "the ethics of new retail business models, sustainability, neopotism in the media industry and the privilege that's often afford by a white female influencer."
"We see one of our responsibilities as informing consumers about the products that are on the market," said the account owner. "As the influencer economy grows and the FTC tightens it's [sic] grip on compliance, misrepresentation, and false claims, it's important to look at some of these public figures with a closer lens."
Of course, they did not conclude their comment without hurling a few more jabs at the original subject.
"Let's talk about the amount of bad reviews of her products which are a starkly different reality than what's portrayed on both her personal and Something Navy Instagram, or the fact that Arielle regularly promotes Bandier products without disclosure of her investment in the brand," said Diet Prada.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Charnas for comment.