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Did local fashion guru Gavin Rajah copy this designer’s dress from 2013 [pics]
Posted by on Jul 29th, 2014

Local fashion folks have their haute couture panties in a bunch over allegations that SA fashion guru Gavin Rajah copied the dress design of Lebanese designer, Zuhair Murad. Now it’s not uncommon in the fashion world for designs to be similar, but given the unique appearance of the dress in question it’s gonna be pretty tough for Rajah to explain how this is pure coincidence.

Zuhair Murad’s dress from his 2013 spring/summer collection is on the left and the Rajah dress from his latest 2014 autumn/winter collection is on the right. Rajah has responded to the allegations by saying that his design “is my own original creation inspired by Japanese woodblock printing”.

gavin rajah


Rajah revealed the creation at Cape Town fashion week over the weekend.

His full response:

“I did not copy Mr Zuhair Murad’s design, my design is my own original creation inspired by Japanese woodblock printing. The Japanese inspired theme is visble through the entire collection. I have created the design independently from inspiration sourced by Japanese themes, ranging from the rising sun to Japanese fans. The entire design process has been my own efforts in labour. I welcome you into my studio to view the creative process that lead to this design.”  [9lives]


Marie Claire editor, Aspasia Karras, had this to say about ‘copying’ being a grey area in fashion.

“It is a tricky space. What is disappointing in the current debate surrounding the Gavin Rajah Summer 2014 collection with specific reference to the Zuhair Murad lookalike dress  is that there is no reason for Mr Rajah to be venturing into this territory. He has demonstrated his ample skills for original and technically superior workmanship over many years, and I personally admire and delight in his work and his flair, so I am baffled and saddened that this ‘lookalike’ situation has happened and I am sure he has a very good explanation.” [MC]

Mr Rahaj…you got some splainin to do.

July 07, 2014 at 8:17 am

He added some spice to the original. I like the new look!

Tracy says:
July 07, 2014 at 8:17 am

Wouldn’t put it past Gavin to copy. Met him, he is not a nice person!
And please how can he even assume that we the public are so stupid? IT IS obviously copied!

Anetta says:
July 07, 2014 at 8:17 am

Mr. Rajah is a miserable cheat who flies into a petulant pout whenever he is caught out. My granddaughter commissioned him for a wedding dress and it was an (expensive) disaster from beginning to end. Actually, the dresses of the bridesmaids (made by a very unpretentious home-dressmaker) was by far much more professionally designed and made than the Gavin Rajah (mis)creation. Once he received the 50% deposit, he couldn’t give a damn. Karma, Mr. Rajah: to my mind this scandal is your well-deserved karma.

Chels says:
July 07, 2014 at 8:17 am

This is not the first time I’ve seen Gavin Rajah’s work look like imitations. Anyone who keeps an eye on the runway, can see how obvious it is that so much of his work is just imitation. And you know what they say; Imitation is not flattery- its theft.

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