Shehzil Malik accused Gul Ahmed of stealing her design
Shehzil Malik is a designer, illustrator, and a proud feminist. She paints women in light of social issues and local culture. She recently took to social media to talk about how Gul Ahmed allegedly plagiarized her work.
In her Instagram story, artist Shehzil Malik accused Gul Ahmed of stealing her artwork for their newest collection
She was shocked that she even had to put forth the allegations, considering Gul Ahmed is one of the biggest textile companies in Pakistan
The artwork allegedly copy-pasted by the brand is this illustration Shehzil did in collaboration with another brand
Now, let’s take a look at another one of Shehzil’s designs
View this post on Instagram
Friendly reminder that fairness creams are toxic that will cause your skin longterm damage. This year the govt released a list that showed that 56 out of 59 samples from cosmetic companies used an excessive amount of Mercury deemed unacceptable for human use. This includes Fair and Lovely, Garnier, Ponds- all companies local and international. As someone who used these creams in their teens, I understand the feelings of insecurity cultivated about dark skin. Then I grew up and realized how ignorant it was to try to lighten my skin. How can we talk about racism or expect other cultures to respect us if we can't afford ourselves the same dignity? Now I deliberately refuse to buy anything with the words "whitening" or "brightening"- I am dark-skinned; I wear where I'm from with pride. Next time you reach for a fairness product, think of that scene from Lagaan where the guy says, "Tum saala ghulam log hamari jooti ke neeche hi rahega" and put the cream back- for your ancestors! 💪🏾💥💁🏽♀️ . . . . . #illustration #illustrated #editorialillustration #shehzilmalik #southasian #art #womeninthearts #feminist #brownisbeautiful
The same slogan was alleged by Shehzil Malik to have been printed by Gul Ahmed on the sleeve of a kurta
Source: @shehzilm/ Instagram
A lot of people called out the brand after Shehzil accused the brand
People also made accusation that Gul Ahmed’s Instagram account started deleting comments that were calling them out for copying Shehzil’s work
Source: @gulahmedfashion / Instagram
Now, the brand has come up with a response, saying that their designer made an “honest error”
They also stated that they have removed the clothes from their collection after being made aware of the plagiarism accusation.
View this post on Instagram
GulAhmed has become aware that an illustration by Shehzil Malik was used as part of our collection. Our designer has admitted his honest error and the company is taking necessary disciplinary action. Gulahmed greatly respects intellectual property rights. We have immediately removed the design from our collection and are attempting to contact the designer.
Instances like big brands stealing the hard work of less famous or empowered artists, craftspeople and communities to make money off of it are plenty, especially in Pakistan. Thanks to social media, people are able to start a discussion and prompt big companies to take responsibility for their actions.
What is your take on this? Let us know in the comments.
Cover image via @shehzilm/ Instagram