Philly Designer Accused of Reselling H&M Shirts in Her “Affordable Luxury” Line

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Image of Dlano button-down shirt from Milano Di Rouge via its official website[1].

Popular Philadelphia-based fashion brand Milano Di Rouge[2] is facing backlash after customers began accusing the retailer of reselling H&M shirts at a high markup.

The mayhem started over the weekend when several customers went on social media to react to revelations that their Milano Di Rouge “Dlano” button-down shirts — currently $78 online[3] — had H&M tags. A similar white button-down from H&M is being sold for $14.99[4] — though of course without MILANO printed on them.

Some of the reactions went viral:

Awwww man I knew this video would come in handy one day ‍♂️‍♂️‍♂️#milanodirouge #milano

A post shared by Akim Lane (@skinny.keem) on

@_cdiddy[5] bruh RT @NPYizzo[6]: @milanodirouge[7] out here using h&m shirts wit there name on it then selling it for a 10x markup smh. 2018 swindle in full effect. At least cut the h&m tag off first sis ‍♂️‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/lgSA2J2cQO[8]

— yizzo (@NPYizzo) January 29, 2018[9]

“When I saw others sharing online that these expensive shirts from Milano Di Rouge came from H&M, I went and checked my shirt and felt ripped off,” said James, from North Philadelphia. “My girlfriend spent like a hundred dollars on this shirt and H&M sells it for $10 … I’m pissed.”

Described as offering “affordable luxury to the fashion enthusiast,” Milano Di Rouge is an emerging fashion brand from Philadelphia native Johnika “Milan” Harris. Since the brand’s launch in 2012, Harris has received acclaim from the fashion industry, with showcases at Philly Fashion Week, a designer-in-residence slot[10] at the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator (PFI) at Macy’s Center City, and brand promotion from rapper Meek Mill[11].

High-end brands usually inform their customers when they are partnering with another fashion line. Recent examples can be found in the collaboration between French couture line Balmain and H&M[12], and fashion heavyweight Alexander Wang’s partnership with Adidas[13]. There was no such announcement from Milano Di Rouge.

On Tuesday morning, Harris released a public statement via Instagram[14] defending her decision to use H&M shirts by touting the numerous charity endeavors she has taken part in and explaining that “if it was just about the clothes I’d be focused solely on selling clothes.”

“When you purchase a bottle of Hennessy for $300.00+ at your favorite club, you do not stop the purchase because a liquor store may sale the same bottle for $30, nor do you accuse the club or promoter of ‘trying to scam you,’” Harris said in the statement. “You support these businesses in exchange for the great food and great experience (the ambience) that they provide! You understand the business behind the pricing and buy into the atmosphere.”

Sorry for the delay, I had so much work to do today and goals to accomplish that I couldn’t let this negativity take me off my mission. Although I would admit that it was a big distraction, I still manage to get my work done❤️ To all my supporters thank you for your kind words. I didn’t get a chance to read everyone’s stuff, cuz I was working majority of the day but the ones I saw I commented on❤️ I appreciate the love and continuos support.

A post shared by Milano Di Rouge (@iammilanrouge) on

Harris did not respond to Philadelphia magazine’s request for comment.

Following the Instagram statement, there were mixed reactions online:

I bet Meek shirts wasn’t on that cheap H&M shirt bye Milano people will buy anything

— D.T. (@Yae_YeZZy) January 30, 2018[15]

I don’t get how people are mad at this Milano issue lmao. She got the items wholesale and redesigned it…a lot of companies (especially new ones) do that be glad that it’s H&M and not Hanes ‍♂️

— tre (@TreDesperado) January 30, 2018[16]

The thing with Milano is these other brands she talks about buy from a supplier or manufacturer, NOT buy from H&M or American Apparel directly and slap their brand on ANOTHER brand’s merchandise. There’s a difference. Also a difference in quality.

— kiss kiss. bang bang (@KaelaDelRey) January 30, 2018[17]

Everybody wanna bash Milano for selling H&M clothes under her brand, but nobody wanna bash these trash ass rappers for charging 2K for a feature, knowing their bars are worth $2 ‍♀️ It’s a grind. You gotta make money in order to build your brand, or you’ll be broke forever!!

— IG: melody_shari (@MizMel215) January 30, 2018[18]

Endnotes:
  1. official website: https://milanodirouge.com/collections/unisex/products/dlano-button-down
  2. Milano Di Rouge: https://milanodirouge.com/
  3. $78 online: https://milanodirouge.com/collections/unisex/products/dlano-button-down
  4. being sold for $14.99: http://www.hm.com/us/product/69644?article=69644-C
  5. @_cdiddy: https://twitter.com/_cdiddy?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  6. @NPYizzo: https://twitter.com/NPYizzo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  7. @milanodirouge: https://twitter.com/MilanoDiRouge?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  8. pic.twitter.com/lgSA2J2cQO: https://t.co/lgSA2J2cQO
  9. January 29, 2018: https://twitter.com/NPYizzo/status/958012279064317952?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  10. a designer-in-residence slot: http://www.philadelphiafashionincubator.com/designer-johnika-harris/
  11. Meek Mill: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFEuYhiI0ls
  12. Balmain and H&M: http://www.hm.com/us/magazine/culture/interview/2015/05/olivier-rousteing-about-balmain-xhm
  13. Alexander Wang’s partnership with Adidas: https://www.barneys.com/designer/adidas-originals-by-alexander-wang/N-1qejbt
  14. a public statement via Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BekIQlKHgla/?taken-by=iammilanrouge
  15. January 30, 2018: https://twitter.com/Yae_YeZZy/status/958361773618483201?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  16. January 30, 2018: https://twitter.com/TreDesperado/status/958359643331465216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  17. January 30, 2018: https://twitter.com/KaelaDelRey/status/958354684124811269?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  18. January 30, 2018: https://twitter.com/MizMel215/status/958341243079217152?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/shoppist/2018/01/30/milano-di-rouge-hm/