Kim Kardashian wasn’t the only one who copied a classic look at the Met Gala.
Social media users pointed the finger at Ralph Lauren, angrily claiming that the designer stole the idea of Alicia Keys’ New York City skyscraper cape from fellow high fashion designer Zang Toi.
Toi, the designer favored by fashion society, showed a floor-length cape in white couture silk gazar with black hand-embroidered New York skyscrapers during his Fall/Winter 2020 runway show at New York Fashion Week in February 2020 – much like Lauren’s design for the 2022 Met Gala.
“My cape was inspired by my love for my adopted home, New York City,” Toi told the Post, noting his inbox was flooded with fashion lovers pointing out the similarities to his original design. “I came here 41 years ago with $300 to attend Parsons School of Design and I wanted to show my love and appreciation for the city that embraced me – and allowed me to live the American dream.”
In fact, many years ago, Toi debuted his black and white skyscraper cape during his Spring 2009 collection, which was later worn by Ling Tan at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards.
“I decided to pull the iconic hand-embroidered New York skyline cape from the archives – timeless beauty never goes out of style – to pay tribute to my favorite city on my 2020 New York New York runway show,” he told The Post , attended by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Eagle-eyed fashionistas couldn’t help but point out that Lauren may have borrowed the idea from the Malaysian-born designer’s ‘New York, New York’ collection, which featured a cape with similar NYC embellishments.
“They copied Zang because they know Zang is the most creative and incomparable fashion designer,” said one fan. “I thought it was you and then they said Ralph and I were like WTF,” commented another on the site of the designer.
“I thought this whole time was yours,” wrote another. “The NERVE,” one Facebook user simply wrote.
“This is a stunning recreation of Zang Toi He’s the OG,” said one Instagram user. “When I saw that cloak, I screamed, ‘It’s fake!'” said another person.
Worse, some social media users pointed out that this wasn’t the first time Lauren had seemingly copied New York courtier Toi, who usually dresses A-listers like Sharon Stone, Patti LaBelle and Kimberly Guilfoyle.
“My immediate reaction was ‘Well, Ralph is copying Zang again!!!!'” wrote one user, while another chimed in, “It’s no surprise… he does it all the time.”
The designer, who launched his eponymous line in 1989 after wowing Anna Wintour and has appeared in the pages of Vogue alongside Lauren, also noted that he had seen his designs copied before.
“It’s not the first time,” he said simply.
On the red carpet, Keys told Vogue that she and Lauren are inspired by the Big Apple, as both the “Empire State of Mind” singer and designer are from New York.
“My inspiration is our city. New York forever. We just wanted to bring New York to the gala,” Keys told Vogue, noting that she loved the cape’s “artsy vibe.”
The Post has reached out to Ralph Lauren for comment.
Meanwhile, it’s not the first time Lauren has been called a copycat either. In 1994, Ralph Lauren had to pay fashion house Yves Saint Laurent $350,000 for copying a tuxedo dress. A sort of impromptu runway show took place in the courtroom, where the YSL design from the 1992 Winter Couture collection was pitted against Lauren’s dunce, which was featured in a French fashion magazine.
“This is a great victory for creators and design,” Saint Laurent President Pierre Berge said in a statement at the time of the victory. “It’s really important to protect creativity and designers – they shouldn’t be ripped off”