- YouTuber and beauty mogul James Charles recently teased an upcoming collection of colour-blocked hoodies from his Sisters Apparel brand.
- Podcaster and YouTuber Ethan Klein took to Twitter suggesting that Charles had copied the colour palette used in wife Hila’s designs for their apparel company Teddy Fresh.
- The couple both shared photos highlighting the similarities between the colour-blocked sweatshirts.
- Charles addressed the allegations, claiming that he had communicated with Klein and provided a photo of his inspiration for the collection and that he had asked Klein for guidance on how to proceed.
- Klein fired back, calling Charles’ response “combative and dismissive.”
- Klein later shared screenshots of his messages with Charles in which the beauty guru said that his collection was inspired by a different brand, but he would be speaking to his design team.
- Charles also told Klein that the two were not in competition with one another, as they have different fanbases and demographics.
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In his recent TikTok and YouTubevideos, beauty guru James Charles teased an upcoming merch collection with his popular Sisters Apparel brand: colour-blocked hoodies emblazoned with the word “sisters,” Charles’ signature term of endearment for his fans. The YouTube star is already facing backlash for his designs, with some saying they’re clearly inspired by other products already on the market.
On Thursday, YouTuber and podcaster Ethan Klein, who runs the H3H3 productions channel with his wife, Hila, suggested that Charles had copied the colour palette used in the hoodies from the couple’s apparel brand, Teddy Fresh.
“I know we didn’t invent colorblocking but I’m having a hard time w the new James Charles merch, it’s the same exact design as Hila’s,” Klein wrote in a tweet, adding that he believed Charles’ massive fanbase would mistakenly accuse his wife of plagiarizing the beauty guru’s designs.
In a follow-up post, Klein said that the similarities could be “a totally cosmic coincidence” â€” but he thought this was unlikely given that Charles’ merch “used pretty much the identical colours.”
Hila Klein then shared photos of the initial 2017 sketches for her colour block hoodie, which revealed a pattern and colour scheme similar to the “Sisters” hoodie Charles wore in a recent YouTube video.
I guess I might as well share some behind the scenes. This is my first sketch of the color block hoodie from 2017 before we had a logo for TF, and in the other pic is the pink one, this is usually how I work on our color pallets. https://t.co/5t7NrRC28P pic.twitter.com/mEhHq2cF8E
— Hila Klein (@HilaKleinH3) September 18, 2020
The Kleins’ tweets immediately sparked criticism of Charles, with commenters calling the beauty guru’s merch “a rip-off.”
Animator and voice actor Alex Hirsch jumped to Klein’s defence,tweeting, “100% rip off bro. Ur sellin’ Teddy Fresh, he’s is sellin’ Teddy Stale.”
“It’s practically the exact same thing, there’s no way this is a coincidence,” another commenter wrote. “If he wasn’t a YouTuber then maaayybe, but even then.”
Other Twitter users, however, argued that Hila Klein’s designs were reminiscent of other colour-blocked apparel.
“This style has been around for a while. It’s literally a ’90s aesthetic, and you can find identical looks by googling ’90s colour block hoodies like I did, and it took about 2 seconds,” one wrote, posting photos of similar colour-blocked hoodies from the clothing site ROMWE. “I’m not even a James Charles fan but the reach here is pretty embarrassing.”
Charles addressed the allegations
The beauty YouTuber took to Twitter claiming that Klein had contacted him personally about the similarities â€” to which he responded with a photo of the inspiration for his collection and insisted he’d never seen the Teddy Fresh designs.
Charles said he also asked what Klein “wanted [him] to do,” but did not receive a response.
“If you’d like to continue our conversation and find a solution, my DMs are still open!” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
@h3h3productions If you’d like to continue our conversation and find a solution, my DMs are still open! ❤️
— James Charles (@jamescharles) September 18, 2020
Klein quickly fired back, seemingly disputing Charles’ account of their conversation.
“You told me you were going to sell them anyway. You also admitted that the similarity wasn’t a coincidence,” he wrote, adding that he found Charles’ response “combative and dismissive.
On Friday, the podcaster shared 2019 posts from Charles in which the YouTuber accused cosmetics company Wet N Wild of “ripping off ” off his eyeshadow palette.
“I’m not claiming to ‘own’ specific colours. BUT when you copy the exact shades & layout from my palette without even TRYING to hide it…?” Charles tweeted at the time, before writing in an Instagram story that the company should have had “more integrity.”
“Hmmmmm,” Klein tweeted in reference to the year-old controversy, including screenshots from Charles’ Instagram story.
Klein wasn’t finished discussing Charles’ designs
On Saturday, the H3 podcast cohost released screenshots of his communications with Charles.
In the messages, Charles says his colour block hoodie would feature the same colour palette as one of the Teddy Fresh designs, but that he had not been familiar with the Kleins’ brand. The new collection, he said, had been inspired by a Nike design.
He went on to say that the merch had already been produced, but he would be speaking to his team in that event they “copied anything.”
In his final messages, Charles said that there was really “no competition” between the two, as they “don’t have the same fanbase or demographic.”
In a follow-up tweet, Klein admitted that sharing the screenshots would be “the closest [he] can get to some sense of justice,” as he had “no desire to take legal action” against the YouTube star.
The Teddy Fresh Twitter account then tweeted an altered photo of Charles wearing his new collection’s colour block hoodie with the Teddy Fresh logo.
“Big thank you to James Charles for wearing our colorblock hoodie!” the tweet read.
Big thank you to James Charles for wearing our colorblock hoodie! pic.twitter.com/znHtKjqNWI
— Teddy Fresh (@teddyfresh) September 19, 2020
Charles’ new collection will launch on September 24.
Representatives for James Charles did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Update: This story has been updated to include screenshots of messages between Ethan Klein and James Charles.
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