Some sharp-eyed middle school students in Shenzen, China, recently did a double take while walking past a Prada boutique, because one of the brand’s new summer items looked awfully familiar.
“That’s our school uniform!” dozens of schoolchildren said when they saw the blue polo shirt with the white collar, which does bear a striking resemblance to a uniform that has been worn by Shenzen middle school children since 2006. Aside from a tiny pocket on the left front breast and white rings at the bottom of the sleeves, it’d be hard to tell the two apart.
“Except for some details in the cuff and the front pocket, it does look like one of our uniforms,” a Shenzen university student commented on Weibo, where photos of the duplicated T-shirt have been making the rounds on social media as people guess whether the Shenzen school uniforms inspired the Prada design, or whether it’s all just a random coincidence.
Of course, a blue shirt with a white collar and button placket is not such an original concept that two people couldn’t think of it at the same time. But it’s not at all unusual for a big-name fashion brand to pick up design elements or inspiration from the things people are wearing on the street. Either way, those kids are now the most fashionable middle schoolers around.
According to Shanghaiist, the Prada school uniform “copycat” runs for 1,580 yuan, or $257. The school uniform shirt sells on Taobao for 35 yuan, or $5.70, and in this case it could hardly be considered a knockoff, since the middle school had it first.