Lamont Tory is looking for answers. The serial entrepreneur took to his Instagram the other day to plead for assistance in connecting to a Balenciaga representative because some of their 2022 designs look exactly like his 2019 “Free” t-shirt design.
After Tory’s friend succumbed to an addiction battle in 2019, the young creative released a fashion line called “Struggle Is Common.” This line included a black shirt with the words “Free” written in white across the chest. The goal behind the shirt was “to remind people that they’re not alone and to encourage them to face their problems head on if they truly wish to be FREE,” Tory explained in an Instagram post. After wearing his newly released t-shirt to an exclusive Hollywood party, he received a plethora of compliments on the piece. He found himself constantly explaining the meaning behind the look throughout the night.
Fast forward to 2021, his design seemingly resurfaced on Diddy in a Vanity Fair video unbeknownst to him. Shortly after that video, the shirt was seen again on rappers Da Baby and Anuel. “At this point it became apparent that someone had clearly “borrowed” my design, but I had no idea who,” Tory wrote. He later discovered from several friends that Balenciaga had a strikingly similar “Free” t-shirt on their website for an astronomically higher price.
Tory wants no beef and only wants a conversation with a Balenciaga team member to clarify what seems to be a mix-up. “All too often, the little people get stepped on by big brands, and I just want to ensure that this is not another example of that, but rather just a big misunderstanding,” Tory concluded.
Balenciaga, we are waiting.
A Black Entrepreneur Says Balenciaga Used His Design Without His Permission was originally published on hellobeautiful.com