Ultralight theft: Forever 21 slammed for copying Kanye West’s Life of Pablo shirts

Forever 21’s brand of imitating pricey fashion trends and reproducing them at scale is coming back to bite it.

The fast fashion brand has apparently sensed an opportunity in — or suffered a major bout of FOMO from — Kanye West’s popular Life of Pablo clothing line, which reportedly pulled in nearly a million dollars in just two days at its New York pop-up back in March. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Forever 21 is coming off as incredibly sincere with a West-inspired t-shirt, complete with Olde English-script.

Forever 21's version (left) compared to West's (right).
Forever 21’s version (left) compared to West’s (right).

For a mere $34, Forever 21’s shirt reads “Simon de Cyrene for the world,” a biblical reference to a man forced by the Romans to carry the cross of Jesus before his crucifixion. West’s shirt reads “We on an ultra light beam, this is a God,” a lyric from his song Ultralight Beam discussing his relationship with God, according to Genius.

“Forever 21 is ripping off the Pablo merch in the weakest way smh,” a fan tweeted. Another found the most appropriate West reaction:

Forever 21 didn’t immediately respond to comment about the similarities.

Of course, it’s not the only retailer to bring Pablo’s pricey merch to the masses. H&M sold knockoff Yeezy shoes in its stores and Zara mimicked Pablo’s oversized street wear collection with looks of its own.

Digiday Top Stories