Billie Eilish is caught in the middle of media story as the “Bad Guy” singer has been forced to cancel her latest clothing line. Fashion fans were looking forward to seeing Eilish’s collection in conjunction with Siberia Hills, however, she’s been accused of stealing another artist’s work.
More than a few eyebrows were raised when Eilish unveiled a t-shirt and hoody featuring anime character Nozomi Tojo from Long Live!. Both included a scantily clad version in four different positions.
Posting on Twitter, one person spotted the similarities and spectacularly called Eilish out. While it seems the colour of the hair and bikini have been changed (as well as adding “Billie” in Japanese), it’s hard to escape the uncanny resemblance to fan artist Makoto Kurokawa’s work
@nestuur said, “Billie Eilish is selling stolen Nozomi art in her merch what the f**k This is peak 2019, in a bad way.”
It didn’t take long for Eilish’s representative to act, confirming production has ceased, the merchandise is no longer available to order online, and any outstanding orders will be refunded.
Posting on the Siberia Hills Instagram, a statement apologised to Kurokawa:
“To the talented artist Mr. M_Qurokawa, we apologize for taking from your artwork for our merchandise collaboration with Billie Eilish.
“Billie and her team were not aware we used your art, they just believed in the product.”
Eilish isn’t the only one to be caught in a fashion furor. Katy Perry’s shoe line was accused of evoking imagery of racist blackface. Perry unveiled the Ora Face Block Heel and Rue Face Slip-On Loafers back in 2017 — coming in both black and beige — however, critics on social media recently blasted the range.
The 34-year-old was caught in a Twitter war as more and more people pointed out the potential problems of selling the shoes. Issues involving the shoes including protruding eyes, an enlarged nose, and oversized lips — all featured stereotypical with blackface.
Katy Perry: whos gonna check me boo?— eanndi (@popularboochie) February 14, 2019
Katy perry blackface shoe:
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Gucci, Burberry, Katy Perry and other companies using blackface and nooses, people defending Liam Neeson as feel good redemption tale, Steve Harvey defending blacks choosing money over integrity and not Smollett. 7 days left in Black History Month for something else to go wrong pic.twitter.com/bcFfMsm9Ne— T. (@RickyRawls) February 22, 2019
Katy Perry 'Blackface' Shoe to Be Pulled from Shelves— Kim Crayton 🏢 💻🎙#causeascene (@KimCrayton1) February 11, 2019
Ok, can we just make this a rule that ANY product, service or person that is NOT Black will NOT create, promote or apply any combination of BLACK + FACE
Can we just make this a thing#causeascenehttps://t.co/5fo3wMKgJp pic.twitter.com/LRFw2bW9BC
In a joint statement to PEOPLE, Perry and Global Brands Group said: “The Rue and the Ora were part of a collection that was released last summer in nine different colourways (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red, silver) and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism.
“I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from http://katyperrycollections.com.”
Even though Eilish’s team was quick to act, plagiarism remains rife in the world of fashion. Online retailers especially are plagued by incidents where big names are accused of ripping off artists. Don’t worry though, Billie has plenty more clothing collabs on the horizon.
[Featured Image: Harry Durrant (Getty)