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PrettyLittleThing printed ‘Galliano’ on a newspaper print collection

An eagle-eyed Twitter user spotted the designer’s name on clothes he did not appear to be associated with

By now, we are all aware of the many (many) faults of fast fashion, including its habit of creating pieces that look a little too familiar. Following Kim Kardashian and Versace suing the likes of Fashion Nova and Missguided, PrettyLittleThing has come under scrutiny for a series of garments bearing a suspicious resemblance to John Galliano’s infamous newspaper print designs. 

The items – first spotted by Twitter user @thekimbino – include a variety of tops, dresses, skirts, and trousers and cost between £8 and £15. They are finished in a newspaper print, with some sections seeming to be an exact replica of one of Galliano’s own designs created nearly two decades ago. Detailed with ‘headlines’ such as Little Black Dress and Fashion News, the designer’s name even features on the pieces in what appears to be the font Galliano used for his own fashion label’s logo

We have reached out to PrettyLittleThing and we have not yet heard back. Both the brand John Galliano and fashion house Maison Margiela, where Galliano has worked since 2014, had no comment at this time. 

The newspaper print was first made famous for the 2000s when Galliano presented it as part of his AW00 show for Dior. Entitled The Christian Dior Daily, the print became iconic when worn in Sex in the City by Sarah Jessica Parker and was most recently sported by Kim Kardashian back in June. Newsprints would go on to become a staple in John Galliano’s own eponymous brand’s collections, with his ‘Galliano Gazette’ designs.

Lawyer and founder of the website The Fashion Law, Julie Zerbo, tells Dazed the case is tricky because, while the print appears identical, Galliano’s name is written in the context of a newspaper. “There is a chance that consumers may think Galliano is affiliated or has endorsed the dress because his name was on it, which would infringe trademark laws. But because the newspaper is involved, (PLT) could argue consumers are less likely to be confused because his name is written in an article, (rather) than if it was just a plain dress which said ‘Galliano’ on it.”

Further complications come in the form of who owns the rights to the name Galliano as the designer was fired from his label in 2011 after the anti-Semitic outburst which famously cost him his job at Dior. The designer no longer has anything to do with the eponymous brand. “If Galliano has sold his company that would make for a kind of a complex trademark situation,” Zerbo explained. “At the same time, though, you could potentially make an argument that this is misappropriating his name personally.”

Even though the newspaper design was not invented by Galliano himself, with a number of designers from Elsa Schiaparelli to Franco Moschino doing versions of the print, the use of Galliano’s name has caused many on social media to criticise the British retailer. PLT is owned by, which had sales of almost £580m in the 2018 financial year.

Start-up brands like PrettyLittleThing, among others, have gained millions of followers through the rise of social media, but this past year many consumers have become disillusioned after considering the environmental and humanitarian impacts of making incredibly cheap clothing. In 2018, British Parliament called upon bosses of fast fashion labels, including PLT, to answer questions on their cheap clothing and its impact on workers’ rights, after an investigation into garment factories in the UK by the Financial Times

With the report finding that some workers in factories contracted by British fast fashion brands were being paid below £5 per hour, the Environmental Audit Committee requested that the labels give evidence in response to these revelations. Carol Kane, joint chief executive of the Boohoo Group, who represented both Boohoo and PrettyLittleThing, defended the companies in Parliament in November.

We will update this story as soon as we hear more. 

UPDATED on January 7: PrettyLittleThing has responded to our request and has explained they will not be issuing any comment at this time.