Callout Culture and the Dynasty of @DietPrada
Anyone even vaguely concerned about authenticity within the fashion industry has heard of @DietPrada. The brainchild of Lindsey Schuyler and Tony Liu, who had remained anonymous until May this year, DietPrada has become the go-to for exposing copycat designs, or as their Instagram bio puts it, “ppl knocking each other off lol.”
Each call-out post follows a particular format: photos of similar designs are juxtaposed, DietPrada offers their characteristically scathing critique in the caption, and their followers—affectionately termed “Dieters”—are invited to discuss the comparison in the comments, or send in their own tip-offs.
It seems some particularly hardcore Dieters have taken call-outs into their own hands. Recently, @EsteeLaundry has materialized as the watchdog of the beauty industry. The account’s punny name, irreverent captions, and the diminutive “Laundrites” (by which they refer to their followers), are all obvious nods to DietPrada.
Similarly, @whos____who has emerged as the art world’s analog to DietPrada. It, too, places side-by-side comparisons of contemporary art, but diverges from the tradition set by DietPrada and Estée Laundry in that it offers no commentary on the forgeries. Save for hashtags of the two featured artists’ names, the captions of @whos____who reveal little else in the way of opinion or information. Instead, the bulk of the debate over plagiarism and appropriation occur in the comments by the account’s followers, who notably go without nicknames.
The popularity of accounts like @DietPrada, @EstéeLaundry, and @whos____who testify to the pervasive callout culture of the internet, as well as a growing sense of collective consumer consciousness. In a world where genuine originality seems increasingly scarce, these accounts and their followers hold creators accountable.
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