UPDATED 7:24 P.M.: sdc addressed the T-shirt, saying this in an e-mail to Complex.
while it is true that the yeezy shirt made that particular font/ style/ design better known to the rest of the world, it's hardly the original.
that font and style are an homage to 80's/90's LA Latino gang memorial graphic shirts/ sweatshirts (EN MEMORIA DE...) that were made using 2" iron-on gothic letters.
you'll see the style has been echoed in brands like born x raised.
much like when alien ant farm covered michael jackson's smooth criminal the uninformed thought the song was alien ant farm's song, it is understandable, but incorrect, in assuming our design is based on the latest copy of the original. don't get me wrong, that alient ant farm version was an awesome cover!
there are resemblances, yes.
but we believe we are both copying the same source... we are both tuned to the same tuning fork.
we were aware of cali thornhill dewitt's work in the art scene.
and he made it clear that the work was an homage to the culture from whence it came.
and we also thought the story fell in line in theme with the story of Simon de Cyrene.
hypebeast correctly points out sdc was the man from north africa visiting israel and happened to be standing there on the road to golgotha when a roman soldier appointed him to carry the cross for Jesus. a seemingly uninvolved bystander compelled by the crucifier of Jesus to carry the cross - the very symbol of the weight of the world's sin - that Jesus himself could not bear.
we liked the design and the "en memoria" aspect for the religious undertone and cultural significance.
we have another design that's a design homage with a religious undertone - the blood rose - with the tag, "for the world."
and to be clear, we have nothing to do with forever 21 - we just felt it was a good way to make fashionable (and apparently controversial) design accessible to the masses at affordable prices.
and we applaud them for standing up with the likes of us to make fashion available and accessible to everyone.
and that is the very point of our brand - that we can make fashion accessible to everyone, not just for those that would pay $120 for a blank white tee, or $500 for a cotton sweatshirt.
See original story below.
Kanye West made a huge profit with his The Life of Pablo merch. During the New York pop-up this past March, the rapper said he sold $1 million worth of apparel. The tees, hoodies, and jackets have been a favorite for Kanye fans, and it looks like retailers and brands are trying to capitalize on that success.
Since the release of the merch, select retailers have designed products similar to those Kanye and his team created. The latest to sell bootlegs is Forever21. The SDC For the World Graphic Tee features "Simon De Cyrene For the World" text in the same Old English font used in the TLOP merch, formatted in the same manner. "Simon De Cyrene" appears to refer to a Los Angeles brand called sdc by Simon de Cyrene.
It should be noted that other fast-fashion retailers, like H&M, have been criticized for selling bootleg versions of other clothing designs, including those of high-fashion labels.
We've reached out to both Forever21 and sdc by Simon de Cyrene for comment and will update accordingly.