Vancouver-Based Brand Oak and Fort Accused of Knocking Off L.A. Designer
In response to a post by Instagram fashion critic Diet Prada, Oak and Fort says similarities between its products and those by indie label J. Hannah are "totally coincidental."
March 22, 2019
Vancouver-based label Oak and Fort is under fire for allegedly plagiarizing the work of a Los Angeles designer.
The brand, which is headquartered in Mount Pleasant, was featured in an Instagram post by fashion critic Diet Prada on Wednesday (March 20) that highlights the similarities between nail lacquers and jewellery produced by Oak and Fort and those produced by independent California-based designer Jess Hannah Révész under the label J. Hannah. The post includes product and promotional images created by the two parties, which bear striking resemblances.
“In [Oak and Fort’s] recent addition of a random beauty line… they seem to be taking more than a little inspiration from [J. Hannah]’s handmade jewelry and capsule of nail lacquers,” wrote Diet Prada, a popular Instagram page run by friends Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler that works to call out designers “knocking each other off” in the realm of fashion.
The post is accompanied by a screenshot of an alleged e-mail sent to Révész from Oak and Fort’s marketing team in 2015. In it, Oak and Fort express their admiration of the J. Hannah brand. At the time of publication, the post has accumulated more than 10,000 likes and nearly 500 comments.
Jason Wong, marketing director at Oak and Fort, says that any similarities between Oak and Fort’s products and those by J. Hannah are “totally coincidental.” He says that the images and screenshots in the Diet Prada post refer to “disparate, disconnected events” and “weaves a narrative that isn’t true of what happens [at Oak and Fort] internally.”
Wong says that Oak and Fort has “a lot of respect for J. Hannah” and that the two businesses have a lot in common, including that they are both female-founded. “Our designs are inspired by our ethos and our customers and our customers’ feedback,” he says. “We really just want to present products that they would love.”
When reached by VanMag, Révész declined to comment, saying that she would prefer to handle the matter privately and directly with Oak and Fort.
Founded in Vancouver in 2010, Oak and Fort produces men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories based on the idea that “fashion should be uncomplicated and thoughtfully designed.” It launched a homeware collection in 2016 and a line of beauty products earlier this year. In January, Nicola Fuller, brand specialist for Oak and Fort’s home and beauty divisions, told the Vancouver Sun that the company’s beauty collection is “modest and concise and… limitless in the ways it can be styled.” The products are developed and designed in Vancouver, and made in Korea.