May 26, 2019

We’re All Drinking Diet Prada Now

Even Diet Prada’s supporters believe that it occasionally stretches when calling out copycats, particularly when it does not seek comment from the targets before posting. Mr. Yambao pointed out that “anyone can submit a story to them and it’s up to them whether they’re going to fact-check it or not.”

Lorenzo Marquez, a creator of the blog Tom and Lorenzo and an avid fan of Diet Prada, said that the account’s inconsistency reflected a struggle he found familiar. “I think it has a lot to do with the pressure to put out content,” he said. “To make sure that you’re always saying something.”

One example came in December, when Diet Prada suggested that the French brand AMI had imitated Celine when it featured a model wearing a turtleneck beneath a long, tailored coat. Many Dieters were not convinced. “Umm. it’s a basic coat with turtleneck …” one said, adding “#weak, so not @diet_prada worthy!”

Mr. Marquez and his blog partner, Tom Fitzgerald, predicted that it will be necessary for Diet Prada to take more paid partnerships to sustain its business (the founders would not discuss their incomes but said they are making less money than when they worked at other jobs), and warned that if it is not transparent about doing so, maintaining credibility with an audience devoted to judgment will become difficult.

In February, the account posted a clearly marked advertisement (for the retailer, a novel sight for those who follow the account closely. Diet Prada’s founders, identified merely as D and P, recently told Ssense that they’re hoping to start a social platform for their fans: “I almost want a message board where people can be like, ‘I think they copied me,’ and everyone else can jump in,” P said. “It would be amazing.”

Mr. Fitzgerald said that the account’s founders, for whom he wished nothing but the best, had reached a pivotal moment.

“You reach a point of success and at that exact moment you have to decide, ‘Do I continue what I’m doing?’ because you will burn out if you continue, or ‘Do I change and become something else,’” he said. “And I think that is where they are right now, so it’ll be really interesting to see where they go.”

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