February 14th, 2014
Fashion News, Swimsuits
Reader Mail: Did Draya Michele’s Mint Swim Line Copy Andrea Iyamah?
By Claire

A anonymous concerned reader wrote in, typing, “Draya posted one of her latest swimwear designs on Instagram last night. She copied the entire design of one swimsuit from a Canadian-based designer Andrea Iyamah.”

Andrea Iyamah Accuses Draya Michele of Stealing Swimsuit Designs for Mint Swim
“.. The picture she posted has been attached below, as well as pictures of the original design from the Andrea Iyamah collection last summer!!! Angela Simmons wore the SAME swimsuit last year from the designer.”

Andrea Iyamah Accuses Draya Michele of Stealing Swimsuit Designs for Mint Swim
She continued, “This is not the first time! Draya is forever knocking off designs from other labels! Someone needs needs to put her on blast!”
2 Andrea Iyamah Accuses Draya Michele of Stealing Swimsuit Designs for Mint Swim
Well, alright! Looking at the pictures, it does seem as if Draya took inspiration from Andrea’s line, and several others. A swimsuit from her Mint Swim collection a few seasons ago bore a striking resemblance to a Norma Kamali suit once worn by Rihanna.

Rihanna Hawaii Swimsuit Norma Kamali One Shoulder Metallic Slash Swimsuit
Norma Kamali

Designers take inspiration from other brands all the time. Be honest, how often have you guys asked for the knock off/look for less? Not because you don’t care about the original designer, but because you simply can’t afford the runway version?

Rita Ora’s Tom Ford Coat
rita ora kate moss party tom ford fall 2013 black and white coat for less from asos
The ASOS version

This is an interesting situation, as both designers are relatively new. They’re not selling their swimwear in flagship stores on 5th Avenue for exorbitant prices (Andrea Iyamah’s two piece is very affordable at $56!).
So I can understand the upset.
What do you think of this situation?
And do you think Draya copied Iyamah’s designs?

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29 Responses to “Reader Mail: Did Draya Michele’s Mint Swim Line Copy Andrea Iyamah?”

  1. Danielle says:

    No no no. Knock off pieces generally have altered their design from the original piece. Which is why it’s a knock off. Draya seems to have copied the original design in its entirety … I see no modifications. It’s sad and quite frankly a low. If her t- shirts and beanies and sweatshirts with iron on slogans weren’t already a sign of laziness … Now you can’t even design an original swimsuit that doesn’t even require that much fabric? FAIL

  2. Ready says:

    YES! Draya didn’t get inspired, she straight stole both designs. And I’m pissed about it because Andrea Iyamah is a Nigerian designer…newcomer too. She doesn’t even have the fanbase that Draya has from doing nothing…so she’s basically trying to rob the girl, but because Andrea is lesser known, she could get away with it. If Beyonce gets crucified for doing similar, then Draya should be called out too. Be original, woman! If you can’t be original, stick to being a model!

  3. me says:

    I’d agree that the bottom looks identical but the top is not. Draya’s top looks like a halter with horizontal seams through the chest area, fuller bust coverage and a longer torso to the top. Similar but not identical. And the comments sound very personal vs. Objective. Did she steal money from your pocket?

  4. Anonymous says:

    They all look the same to me but what Claire said “designers are inspired by others.”

  5. Kira says:

    I deal with this kind of thing all of the time as a designer myself and it truly doesn’t seem fair especially when both designers are up and coming. Inspiration is one thing but blatantly copying another person’s work is disrespectful and discouraging. Things like this happen everyday…true…but why does it have to. We all want to get ahead in life, be influential, acknowledged, successful….but the way in which some people go about it is dishonest and unfair.

  6. heyyall says:

    Who cares!

  7. Anonymous says:

    No I take my “who cares ” back. this happened to someone I know; and it’s wrong.. So Draya is very tacky and wrong for stealing the look.

  8. mesa says:

    Ehh smh. See I would say shes been inspired by these designs but ive seen her on twitter taking shots at other swimwear designers that she says have stole her looks.and calling them frauds. She swears her stuff is original too. Smh.

  9. Bree says:

    Draya didn’t even get inspired she just took and ran. Draya I admit has a “BAD” body but she has a “BAD” attitude. Now the fit might look different on the body but its the same style. She just wants excuses to show off her body anytime she can

  10. MynameisPeaches! says:

    The two pieces are similar but certainly not the same which means identical. However, if I was a designer and I spotted a similar piece that looked like a rip off my designs I would be really upset. They are both great pieces and wouldn’t mind getting my hands on either of them.

  11. Christin says:

    Draya’s suit looks much better than the original. I think everyone’s upset because it’s Draya. Andrea is getting a lot of press right now. All this fuss has got me curious.

  12. savoirity says:

    Draya come out and apologise, you messed up BIG TIME!

  13. Bri says:

    I agree with previous posters. The coat Rita Ora wore looks nothing like the ASOS coat. It may seem similar, but I wouldn’t spot one and mistake it for the other. With Draya, if you put both next to each other on the rack, no one could discern. That is not a knock off. That is copying the whole design and I hope whoever is in charge of the other label sues her.

  14. Bri says:

    Also, for those asking “did she steal our money” how would you feel if you poured your entire savings into a clothing line or to make a collection happen, and someone robs your ideas without repercussions? I’m sure you wouldn’t be wondering why everybody mad then…

  15. Jade says:

    Andrea Iyamah’s swimsuit is $56. $56! From what I’ve seen (and I could be wrong) many of Draya Michele’s swimsuits are around $75. She’s straight up stealing the design of a relatively little known designer and potentially slapping a higher price tag on it. How is that ok?

  16. Anonymous says:

    A lot of my students confuse knockoffs with bootleg goods.
    A knockoff by definition is “A trade term referring to the copying, at a lower price, of an item that has had good acceptance at higher prices. (Stone 303)
    Stone, Elaine. In Fashion, 2nd Edition. Fairchild Books, 7/2011. .
    Draya isn’t knocking off designs- she is copying them- straight up no chaser.

  17. As a fellow Canadian I have followed Andrea for a few years and really respect her work. Two things – fashion designs are protected of there are not at least 6 points of difference from one design to the next…so Draya is opening herself up for a lawsuit.

    The best thing people can do is spread the word and ensure that Andrea gets more coverage and Draya less! Money talks…so buy the original!

  18. Bliss says:

    Not to be devils advocate BUT Drayas design is slightly different bc of the following reasons: The original design has an underwire for the top (Draya doesn’t) also, the original top’s triangle is smaller with less sharp edges, and lastly the top is shorter in general. Draya’s is longer and her bottom is high waisted & with bigger cut outs at the side. I say all this, but I do think she copied the style. I like the original better, it’s sexy but not as sleazy looking as Drayas.

  19. Dria says:

    I think that people are mad because its Draya. If it was some other up and coming designer this wouldn’t even be a topic of discussion. The two suits are similar but you can clearly see the subtle differences in the longer line of the top and higher rise of the bottoms and well as the straps on the halter. I personally prefer the Mint Swim design.

  20. Tary says:

    I feel like the fact that this “situation” is repetitive in the fashion industry, is why it needs to be addressed. Lets say we look past the fact that it is Draya. At the end of the day; someone spent countless time coming up with a beautiful piece of work, their idea was stolen, altered with, or copied(however you want to call it), and that is in fact wrong. It will always be wrong. And Draya will have her share of trials in the end simply because a person who lacks originality will not go far. And a person who steals behind closed doors, will always get caught. If you ask me, the original Nigerian designer needs not to worry.

  21. binks says:

    I would buy that excuse except for the fact that Andrea Iyamah’s swimwear is NOT expensive. So you don’t need a cheaper or knockoff version of her stuff. furthermore, there is a different from being inspired by others and blatantly knocking something off. Those two swimsuits looks like it could be in the SAME collection by one designer not a collection by two different designers…smh

  22. Marie J. says:

    Draya’s suit smashes the other… Lets be real here every designer and Design House is inspired by someone or something else… Draya’s suit is not identical… there are differences… I love it!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I love Draya’s own better though…

  24. Lauren says:

    My first comment I did on my phone and it failed miserably….
    I’m just wondering if Draya’s swimwear comes in large cupsizes, if so then there is a niche for women with big breasts, designers often forget that.

    If so then “Inspired by” is cool so long as it serves an additional purpose, our UK Highstreet brands do it season in, season out.

  25. Brittany says:

    It really doesnt matter if there are altercations; the overall design is the same. i lost respect for draya and shshame on her.

  26. Anonymous says:

    All swimsuits look the same.Unless you have that one of s kind design,it will be seen over and over

  27. Gina says:

    Draya definitely stole these designs and called them her own and not just those 2.. the other swimsuits are also a replica of Andrea Iyamah’s swimsuits. I think she is completely wrong . Draya shouldn’t even call herself a designer seeing as she cant design.

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