Why Is Everyone Freaking out About Cara Delevingne's Sweatshirt?

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Cara Delevingne made waves yesterday morning when she posted a picture on Instagram of herself and model, Adwoa Aboah wearing a sweatshirt that said, "The Future is Female." In her caption, Cara wrote that she is selling the sweatshirt on her chapter of Represent.com for $39.99, with all proceeds going to Girl Up!, an organization that funds the education and health of young girls in developing country.

Despite the openly feminist message and movement to help young women across the world, fans on Cara's insta still went nuts with comments yelling at the Queen of Brows. But why all the fuss when Cara was just supporting fellow women all for a good cause?

It turns out that sweatshirt wasn't Cara's idea.

Cara was first seen wearing the sweatshirt in October, with her girlfriend Annie Clarke (better known as St. Vincent) flaunting the t-shirt version in November. Even though many fans now associate the -sweatshirt with the model-turned actress, most feminists known better. The logo actually dates back to 1975 created first by Labyris Books, the first women's book store in New York City, says The New York Times. When the bookstore first premiered its slogan, well-known and openly gay singer/songwriter Alix Dobkin was wearing the shirt, photographed by her then girlfriend Liza Cowan. Now in 2015, the design was picked up by Rachel Berks, feminist/LGBTQ advocate and owner of a graphic design shop in Los Angeles called Otherwild. Rachel started selling the shirt in her shop with 25 percent of the proceeds going toward Planned Parenthood when St. Vincent got her hands on the tee.

I took down my post yesterday about #thefutureisfemale controversy, because the negative commentary was overwhelming me, but I wanted to share my thoughts and this image which shows #Otherwild's sweatshirt on the left, and @caradelevingne's identical version on the right. The slogan "The Future Is Female" originates from Jane Lurie's and Marizel Rios' Labyris Books (1972), and Otherwild used @lizacowan's image of Alix Dobkin in the shirt (1975) with permission, as originally seen on Kelly Rakowski's @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y. Otherwild's redesign and reissue of the FIF tees and buttons is protected under copyright law, which mandates that any reproduction of an existing known public work must be altered at least 20% from the original. If model/actress Cara Delevingne wanted to sell my line, she would need to wholesale them from Otherwild, and because we donate 25% of our line's proceeds to Planned Parenthood, Delevingne's ethical practice would benefit not only our woman-owned small business but would also serve as a significant donation to PP. Delevingne could also choose not to wholesale from Otherwild and create her own design of the slogan on clothing to sell. But Delevingne's choice to lift and manufacture Otherwild's design, claiming it as her own to sell with an undisclosed charitable offering, is indefensible. Her actions ironically counter the very message of the slogan "The Future Is Female", and it's confounding that she would do this to a small queer feminist-owned business after purchasing the product from us just a few weeks ago. Although under pressure, Delevingne has changed the line's attribution several times in the past 24 hrs., she has not yet offered to wholesale from us nor cease and desist blatantly copying and selling our designs.

A photo posted by OTHERWILD (@otherwild) on

Originally, Rachel was happy to see other women supporting a movement that dated back to the '70s. That was until she saw that Cara was selling the design on her own. Although Cara tagged @otherwild in her post, many of her fans lashed out against Cara's decision to pass of the logo like it was her idea.

"If you like this design and truly support the message, don't but this plagiarized version. Get the original at @otherwild," kate_em_up said.

"@Caradelevingne had the opportunity to support a queer feminist independent designer and instead decided to pass of someone else's work as her own," iamapyramidscheme said.

Otherwild also threw some shade Cara's way, posting a screenshot of the snap on its Insta page and encouraging its fans to comment on Cara's page admonishing her for "ripping off" its message. It has since taken the post down. Otherwild also admitted that it doesn't legally own the copyright to this slogan.

💙 #thefutureisfemale @samleeearly

A photo posted by OTHERWILD (@otherwild) on

Our thoughts? Plagiarism is totes not okay but Cara's message still stands. Although Otherwild is right to be pissed for not getting due cred, Cara is still trying to do a good thing by empowering other women through reviving this slogan.

Do you think Cara is wrong or are you so going to buy that sweatshirt? Sound off in the comments below.

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