fashion

Instagram model Steph Smith unwittingly embroiled in fake designer dress scandal.

Instagram model Steph Claire Smith has been unwittingly embroiled in a fake designer scandal, after it has been claimed a dress she borrowed from a rental platform was a rip-off.

On Wednesday, Instagram account Diet Prada accused Australian rental site Borrow My Balmain of having “purchased” fake Dior “from eBay”, and renting it out as the real thing for profit.

“Have local Aussie influencers Chloe Maggs and Steph Claire Smith been duped or have they willingly participated in their endor$ement?” the site wrote on Instagram.

A side-by-side composite of the real Dior piece beside the knock-off clearly shows marked differences.

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on

A post shared by Steph Smith (@stephclairesmith) on

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The rental site’s Instagram account boasts a client base that includes model and Keep It Cleaner entrepreneur Steph Claire Smith, pop star Natalie Bassingthwaighte and fashion businesswoman Nadia Bartel. There is no suggestion other clothes advertised on the platform are fake as of yet.

In a statement, Borrow My Balmain – believed to be owned by Melbourne singer Chloe Maggs – wrote on Instagram they were not aware the piece was a fake.

“We have a close relationship with a well known stylist (who we won’t name yet for legal reasons) who a few of our pieces were purchased from and we were obviously under the impression were authentic and have now come to the realisation were in fact replicas. We will be taking appropriate legal action against them in regards to this.

“The comments made against our business and certain people/companies stating ‘All our items are fake’ is absolute defamation, most of our items have been purchased from Net-a-porter, Matches Fashion or the stores themselves and we have receipts to prove. Never have we gone out of our way to embarrass anybody. We have removed anything that was purchased from this supplier and can assure you what remains is AUTHENTIC and have receipts upon on request. Please note NOTHING was purchased on eBay.”

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Since the story broke, Smith’s Instagram photo of her wearing the Dior dress at the Cosmo Women of The Year Awards has been littered with criticism, with many writing the model “promot[ed] counterfeit goods.”

However, posting on her Instagram story on Wednesday, Smith said she was not aware the piece was a fake.

“Common [sic] guys get real. It was certainly an honest mistake and certainly not mine or [my stylist’s] fault if true. Please stop being mean on my post, I loved the outfit and didn’t realise it was a fake.”