- Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana Grande
- Ariana Grande has been accused of stealing outfit designs from indie designers and black artists.
- The mood board that inspired her Sweetener World Tour outfits, which were designed by Versace, largely featured images of Rihanna and lingerie looks by designer Yeha Leung.
- Leung told Insider that she was originally approached by Grande’s stylist, Law Roach, to “create custom pieces for that specific tour.”
- “Unfortunately, I had to turn it down due to a timing issue, since the majority of my work is hand-made to measure,” she said. “I rather my brand live in its own time and collaborate with other creatives that respect that as well.”
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Yeha Leung, one of the designers Ariana Grande has been accused of stealing ideas from, was originally approached by the pop star’s stylist to create custom looks for the Sweetener World Tour.
Leung, who creates made-to-order bondagewear under the brand name Creepyyeha, told Insider that she turned down the opportunity due to a “timing issue.”
“I was indeed approached by the stylist to create custom pieces for that specific tour,” Leung told us via email.
“Unfortunately, I had to turn it down due to a timing issue, since the majority of my work is hand-made to measure,” she continued. “Sadly, it is not my first time dealing with this. The music and fashion industry run in an unsustainable pace. I rather my brand live in its own time and collaborate with other creatives that respect that as well.”
All of Leung’s Creepyyeha products, which she sells via Storenvy online, are handmade to order. Shoppers can also provide measurements for a custom fit.
“I hope this situation shines a light into the amount of work independent designers go through when selecting materials, colors, and quality to create magic,” Leung told Insider.
While performing on her Sweetener tour, which kicked off in March, Grande wears a variety of custom-made Versace outfits. Their similarities to some of Leung’s designs began to garner attention after Diet Prada, a fashion watchdog account on Instagram, posted a slideshow of images labeled “Sweetener Mood Board” on Friday.
According to the account, which is run by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, the collection of images was shared with multiple designers, who were approached by Grande’s team to create onstage looks. The images included multiple screenshots from the Creepyyeha Instagram account.
Diet Prada also accused Grande of “appropriating black aesthetics” because a majority of the images on the mood board “features black women as a reference,” most notably Rihanna.
Grande’s stylist Law Roach, who refers to himself as an Image Architect, later confirmed that he created the mood board and defended Grande.
“I don’t really understand this post,” he wrote on his Instagram story. “This mood board was created by me (a black man) for her. So am [I] stealing from my own culture??? She didn’t style herself people. She has trusted me for years with her image and lets me do me. Also who [in] the fashion industry isn’t inspired by Rihanna?”
Diet Prada’s post added to an existing conversation surrounding Grande’s design inspirations. On Wednesday, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Farrah Moan accused Grande’s team of intentionally recreating one of her outfits for the pop star to wear in her “7 Rings” video.
“If you are feeling so inspired by somebody, give them a platform,” Moan told “ET Live” on Thursday. “If you like something that they did, or came up with, hire them to come up with something for you. Buy something from them. Don’t go behind their back and try to steal it and backpedal.”
Some fans who commented on Diet Prada’s post echoed that sentiment, wondering why Grande’s team didn’t enlist Creepyyeha to design her tour looks.
Representatives for Roach and Grande didn’t respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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