Diet Prada: Fashion Critics for the New Age

It is often said that fashion is cyclical, that trends have a way of riding the hamster wheel from total irrelevance to totally in vogue. But what of near exact copies of entire looks or even blatant cultural appropriations? These can get lost in the shuffle of hectic fashion week schedules only to be buried completely by next seasons stream of shows.

Diet Prada, the Instagram account taking the fashion world by storm, is seeking to change all that by calling out brands who knockoff one another’s ideas. Created about three years ago by veterans of the industry, Diet Prada has since amassed over 60,000 followers on Instagram. Its success is due to the account’s utterly unique voice in fashion: one of conviction and honesty. These qualities are very unpopular among blogs and other fashion publications out of fear that major brands will cancel advertising or stop giving away free perks. Because posts to Instagram are free of charge, the minds behind Diet Prada able to use wit, humor, and ferocity to go after those who opt out of their own innovation to cash-in on that of others.

The duo named the account Diet Prada as they both have admiration for Muccia Prada’s role as the shepherd who leads the fashion flock. The “diet” refers to everyone else in the industry who lazily assume the role of sheep. While Prada looks can be seen next to replicated versions, Diet Prada will post about any designer or cultural phenomenon. In fact, the account grew in fame after coming in defense of another Italian label: Gucci, claiming that Dolce & Gabbana riffed on the label’s graffiti collaboration with Gucci Ghost. There was even an ensuing online war in the comment section between the account and Stefano Gabbana himself. Gabbana’s comments prompted Diet Prada to create hilarious t-shirts to further poke fun.

Just thinking about the number of years that “fashion week” has been in existence might leave you wondering how Diet Prada manages to source content. Their photographic memories of past collections certainly helps, but their loyal band of followers do too. These #DietPradaDetectives send in potential post submissions containing an original look or item and a recent copy of it. I sent in a submission and it made its way onto the account’s page. I saw a bag from the recent Tommy Hilfiger collaboration with Gigi Hadid and noticed that it bears a striking similarity to Louis Vuitton’s famous Petit Malle bag. Diet Prada and I even bonded over some fashion humor via Instagram Direct Message. Their ability to interact with their fan base is another reason why this account is so special.

Diet Prada is already working with brands on how they can practice transparency between them and their consumers. Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele, for example, invited Diet Prada to its Spring 2018 collection to source out his many myriad of inspirations. This seems like the first step to having a bigger impact on the wrongdoings of the fashion system. Diet Prada- that’s a win.



The Chic Peak

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