By Sofia Weddle
The fashion industry, as most things in the public eye, has never been short of controversy. Whether one designer is copying another’s designs, a spring line becomes a show of cultural appropriation, or a brand inflates their prices by the hundreds, fashion is never without drama. Many of these incidents go unnoticed or are quickly forgotten, but now there lives a digital fashion-inspired burn book.
This burn book exists on one of the world’s most popular social media apps: Instagram. Diet Prada, a social media account first created in 2014, hones in on the fashion industry’s biggest mistakes. The account may seem unnecessarily harsh, but in reality, it brings to light important controversies that many luxury brands keep hidden from the public. Diet Prada has risen to an astounding popularity of over 1 million followers, every fan searching for the truth behind every silk and cashmere veil.
So why do people care so much? Creative industries have always fueled disputes, but many become buried by quick-witted PR agencies and expert damage control. Consumers could be buying a new sweater made in a sweatshop, or be following a plagiarising designer. Now more than ever, transparency is coveted. Olivia Kavadias, a Senior at Glenelg, says that, “Consumers want to know what they wear because they are putting their own money into a company. They want to know what they are buying, and as far as quality goes, I want to know if it’s worth what I’m paying for.” Instead of wading along the never-ending river of neutrality or ignoring in-your-face discriminatory statements, people now refuse to be lied to or tricked. Diet Prada represents the candid news source that many have been searching for--with room for some much-needed sarcastic humor.
Recently, Diet Prada has taken to Instagram to bash certain Miss Universe contestants for disrespectful and xenophobic comments against fellow competitors. Ironically enough, despite Diet Prada’s stirring reaction, the incident seems to be all but forgotten within the Miss Universe world. However, in its 2018 roundup, Diet Prada made sure to brand this fashion fallout and other “memorable-for-all-the-wrong-reasons” moments in a digital storybook.
The account breaks fashion rules by brashly confronting respected designers, such as breaking the Dolce and Gabbana scandal that occurred in early December. Such is the reason for Diet Prada’s existence: vocalizing present mistakes to prevent future ones. Senior Anna Haney says that, “Diet Prada’s honesty is a great draw for its followers, but so are its fashion reviews.” In the midst of many nonsensical and lazily crafted fashion lines, Diet Prada speaks to the true quality of designer looks at the world’s most popular fashion events.
Sometimes the account’s own opinions come under fire for understandable or irrational reasons, as is always fair in love and fashion war. But looking at Diet Prada from an impartial perspective, the brand is a breath of fresh air compared to the current influx of murky, overly-cautious fashion reviews. Instead of trying to please celebrities, fashion icons, and design houses, Diet Prada tells it like it is, which is more than what can be said about a brand partnership-ruled society. Of course, “it” is their own biased truth, but at least they are straightforward.
Maybe Diet Prada takes its posts too far. Maybe they’re not honest enough. Maybe it’s just right. In the end, the brand’s success stems from consumer demand. Diet Prada may report on controversies and alert its community of fashion falls from grace, but the content is all in the eyes of the beholder. Posting on social media is one thing, but changing people’s ways and the ways of iconic brands is a whole new challenge. May we lead by Diet Prada’s example and unearth the truth for once and for all.