A fashion influencer was called out for saying she planned to 'remake' a pair of vintage shorts that were actually from an Etsy shop

Danielle Bernstein is an influencer, and the owner of online shop WeWoreWhat.Christian Vierig/Getty Images
  • Influencer Danielle Bernstein is facing criticism over a July 15 Instagram post that showed her wearing what she called "vintage gym shorts from the 90s."
  • In the post, she said she would be "remaking" them for her clothing brand WeWoreWhat.
  • A Diet Prada Instagram post from Thursday said the shorts were not vintage, however, and were originally designed by Etsy shop Art Garments.
  • Bernstein later updated her original caption to say she was mistaken and the shorts were from Etsy. She also said she wouldn't be remaking them.

Influencer Danielle Bernstein is facing backlash over a string of incidents involving small businesses.

On July 15, the fashion mogul took to Instagram with a photo of herself wearing a blue button-up shirt tucked into marigold shorts. At the time, she said the latter garment was a pair of "vintage gym shorts from the 90s," and that she'd be "remaking them" for her online shop, WeWoreWhat.

The shorts, however, were actually designed by an Australian Etsy shop called Art Garments, according to Diet Prada.Advertisement

The shop's owner Grace Corby told the fashion-themed Instagram account that she came across Bernstein's photo after fans began to tag her shop in comments, which led her to search through past orders. It was then that she realized Bernstein had purchased two pairs of the shorts from Art Garments on November 11, 2019, according to Diet Prada.

After Diet Prada's Instagram post, Bernstein added this statement to her Instagram caption: "CORRECTION — these are from Etsy and I totally thought they were vintage but they are made to order — someone on my team ordered them for me a while back — I will not be making them!"

Speaking to Diet Prada, Corby added that her shorts were inspired by an inexpensive pair she purchased at a Berlin flea market, and later wore until they were stretched out. Corby told the Instagram account that she took the worn-out shorts to a seamstress who made some changes to the garment, giving the pair wider and longer legs and a more flexible waistband.
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"We all know fashion often references vintage, so I'm not sure why my pairs were chosen as a template and not a true '90s gym short," Corby told Diet Prada.

On July 15, Danielle Bernstein aka @weworewhat posted a picture wearing a pair of simple marigold shorts. “Woke up to so many DMs about these shorts... they’re vintage gym shorts from the 90s and I’m already remaking them for my brand!,” the influencer said, adding that she always finds inspiration in the vintage pieces she collects. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ But Australian Etsy shop @artgarmentsau 's receipts tell a different story. Since 2011, Grace Corby has been collecting vintage and selling curated finds online. “I hand source, shoot, edit and upload, measure & describe, hand wrap & post each piece myself.... it's a labour of love and never really feels like work,” she said. Corby's only non-vintage item is a pair of simple elastic-waist shorts, which are clearly listed as “pre-order." After an uptick in sales when her shop was tagged in the comments of WeWoreWhat’s post, she searched her past orders, finding Bernstein had purchased two pairs on Nov. 11, 2019. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As with the chain masks, the issue is not the “originality” of the item, but the apparent conscious choice to exploit smaller businesses. “We all know fashion often references vintage, so I'm not sure why my pairs were chosen as a template and not a true 90s gym short,” Corby said. Her own shorts are based off a €3 Berlin flea market find, worn until the waist lost its stretch. “I took what remained to a local seamstress with some amendments (longer, wider legs for a bit more coverage, stretchier waist).” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Many designers reference vintage, and always have. The best transform it by adding their own flavor, even to basic items. “There are ethical ways to use vintage in the inspiration and design process. Tweaking and personalising. Ensuring you're not siphoning credit and revenue from a small Aussie shop.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bernstein has since updated her caption: “these are from Etsy and I totally thought they were vintage but they are made to order - someone on my team ordered them for me a while back. I will not be making them.” Odd, considering it still says she collects her own vintage pieces. Some free advice for Danielle—save yourself the scandal and just visit a thrift shop or flea market yourself.

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Jul 30, 2020 at 12:11pm PDT

Representatives for Danielle Bernstein and Art Garments did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

This is the second time in recent weeks that Bernstein has been called out for her interactions with online brands

On July 20, Diet Prada pointed out that Bernstein's line of chain-embellished face masks, which are no longer available to buy, looked a lot like ones sold by online shop SecondWind.Advertisement

As seen in screenshots shared by Diet Prada, Bernstein appears to have asked SecondWind for face-mask samples at the end of June over Instagram. By early July, she had sent another message letting the brand know that she'd soon be selling similar face coverings with detachable chains. Critics have said photos of the two masks show that the designs were almost identical.

Representatives for SecondWind did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

You’d think @weworewhat would have learned not to leave a paper trail by now. @americaninfluencercouncil founding member Danielle Bernstein announced today that her @shopweworewhat line would shortly be stocking linen masks adorned with a safety chain. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It’s a cute idea— and she appears to have lifted it directly from @bysecondwind , who began offering masks June 1st. On June 29, Danielle reached out to the brand via DM, and hustled some free masks. On July 2, she messaged again with a heads up... she was launching her own masks. Don’t worry, though, according to Danielle they’re not a copy! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Well, she finally showed them today and they’re nearly identical, from the linen fabrication down to the unique loop design at the sides to hold the chain. Not sure how this is helping to “sustain the integrity” of influencer marketing “for the ultimate benefit of society” as per the AIC’s goals, but at least there’s one bright side. After her carefree summer galavanting around the Hamptons, Danielle is finally wearing a mask. • #bysecondwind #wearadamnmask #wearamask #weworewhat #daniellebernstein #shopweworewhat #chain #sunglasseschain #accessory #mask #facemask #faceshield #granny #linen #overalls #neutral #asustainable #ecofriendly #receipts #papertrail #influencer #americaninfluencercouncil #blogger #fashion #ootd #wiwt #dietprada

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Jul 20, 2020 at 6:24pm PDT

As Insider's Celia Fernandez previously reported, Bernstein also found herself embroiled in a public feud with Poshmark seller Jade Myers in January.Advertisement

At the time, Bernstein noticed that items from her unreleased swimwear line were listed on Myers' online shop.

The two began to publicly argue over the garments after Myers said she'd sell the pieces back to Bernstein, but only if the influencer paid the resale value. Eventually, the two came to an agreement, with Bernstein agreeing to pay Myers extra costs for removing the items from her Poshmark store, while also giving Myers new clothing to sell.

It appears that Myers wasn't aware that the items were unreleased, and it remains unclear how they ended up in Myers' hands. Myers said in an Instagram exchange with Bernstein at the time that she gets her clothing through "donation based charities and clothing recyclers."Advertisement

Myers and representatives for Bernstein did not respond to Insider's requests for comment at the time.

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