Durham Uni fashion show apologise after FUZE accuse them of ‘brand identity theft’

FUZE Bristol said ‘the team at Durham University show a lack of innovation and a disregard for creative integrity’

FUZE Bristol have accused rival uni fashion show, Durham’s WALKON, of “brand identify theft”.

The allegations were made after members of FUZE Bristol found the Instagram page for WALKON and were shocked by the apparent similarities between the two collectives.

WALKON have apologised for the “initial graphics” they accept were similar to FUZE’s but argue that they have since changed graphic designers and this “shift in style towards a new set of graphics” does “not resemble FUZE”.

On the left is a FUZE post from 19th November 2020 next to a WALKON post from 17th February this year

FUZE have created side by side comparisons of several Instagram posts created by their graphic designers Sophie Cherry and Millie Elliott.

They believe the WALKON team have “shown a disregard for creative integrity” and FUZE “cannot ignore that much of our work has been copied”.

WALKON’s Instagram bio says they are aiming to build a brand centred around “sustainability, diversity and creativity”. This message is very similar to the core values of FUZE Bristol that you will see on the left of the picture.

The apparent similarities also spread to the fashion aesthetic. FUZE managing director Pippa stated that in her position she wanted to focus on “furthering the avant-garde approach”.

Both managing directors were on the same wavelength with WALKON’s 2021 show being titled “An Escape to the Avant Garde”.

The Bristol Tab spoke to FUZE to see how they felt about the situation.

They said: “From core values of inclusivity, diversity and sustainability (which we developed last June) featured on their Instagram, to brand logos and carbon-copy graphics, the team at Durham University show a lack of innovation and a disregard for creative integrity”.

Graphics by @scherryvisuals and @milliecelliott for FUZE in October 2020

Screenshots of WALKON posts between 5-24 March 2021

FUZE went on to say: “Whilst we are shocked at their actions, we are quite honestly proud that our message and brand identity is being picked up across the country”.

FUZE are happy to see that other fashion collectives have been inspired to adopt a message of diversity and sustainability but ask that “if you’re interested in bringing FUZE’s influence, or hiring our creatives, for your university in the future, please get in touch first”.

In a statement to The Bristol Tab, WALKON said: “We were not aware about FUZE’s core values, therefore any similarity is purely coincidental. We believe that our values ‘sustainability, diversity and creativity’ are fundamental values which all individuals should advocate. We chose these values based on our social context in Durham and our creative inspiration such as the Anti-Agency and Dazed.

“We recognise the similarities between our initial graphics. We have since changed graphic designers hence there is a shift in style towards a new set of graphics which we believe do not resemble FUZE. We apologise for our initial graphics and are happy to remove them.

“We know that this only comes out of a place of admiration for their excellent graphic design for which we should have credited FUZE as our initial source of inspiration”.

Featured Image: @alicesuttonphotography

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