“In early 2019, after losing a friend to a long battle with addiction, I released a line called Struggle is Common. My goal was to remind people that they are not alone and to encourage them to face their issues head-on if they really wish to be FREE,” he wrote. “Days after I pulled out a black crewneck with FREE across the chest in a college font, I wore it to an extremely private birthday party in Los Angeles. Some of the most famous people in the world were there, as well as some of the most influential names in the fashion industry and beyond. I had a fucking blast. Throughout the evening, I received several compliments and had more than a few conversations about the meaning of my sweatshirt.
He went on to detail how he was alerted that Balenciaga was taking ownership of the concept.
“Fast forward to August 2021, a bunch of people started tagging me in a Vanity Fair video that featured Diddy, now known as LOVE, wearing what they knew was my design,” he said. -he adds. “While everyone was congratulating me, I was scratching my head in confusion. Shortly after, I was sent a video of Da Baby wearing the shirt. Then Puerto Rican rapper Anuel. At this point, it became obvious that someone had clearly “borrowed” my design, but I had no idea who.
Stapleton then requested a formal conversation with the brand to shed some light on the alleged theft. “I say all this to say, if anyone knows anyone at Balenciaga, can you please ask them to contact me. We need to have a conversation”.
So far, Balenciaga has yet to publicly acknowledge the allegation.