Blogger and fashion designer Danielle Bernstein, the name and face behind WeWoreWhat, is once again very publicly accused of stealing ideas from another influencer.
On February 18, micro-influencer Kelsey Kotzur taken to TikTok calling the fashion mogul for apparently stealing not one, but two of her outfit ideas and Instagram post concepts. In the caption of the video, which has already received more than 755,000 likes, she called the incident so disappointing, and thousands of TikTokers have expressed similar sentiments in the comments.
Speaking to In The Know, Kotzur explained exactly what happened until his decision to speak on TikTok. The influencer was first made aware of a publish on the Bernsteins account which strangely resembled her own late November, but that’s when the fashion blogger apparently copied her for a second moment when she felt inclined to say something.
A friend of mine sent me the picture of her in the Simonett top [in November], Kotzur explained. Her caption was When Instagram shows you a new way to wear your top so I commented on her photo saying Was it me? I thought I was just cheeky and nothing would come of it.  She never contacted or acknowledged my comment, but tons of people liked her. She did, however, publish a story the next day about how she doesn’t have to label every mark on her photos because they don’t pay her to do so.
Yesterday I was in my bedroom filming a TikTok video when my friend texted me saying OMG WATCH THIS and it was a screenshot of Danielle’s photo on Instagram, she said for follow-up. Same collage from 4 photos, exact same cardigan from Urban Outfitters, no credit given in caption. It really pissed me off because if she had tagged me on the photo or on her stories, it would have been huge! But Danielle has been known to shy away from responsibility, so that didn’t shock me. She’s stolen / scammed small businesses, BIPOC creators, and other influencers for too long. This is what inspired me to make the TikTok video. I had to speak for myself.
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While Kotzurs’ post clearly caused a stir online, Bernstein seems reluctant to apologize. Before turning off comments on her recent posts, she responded to a commenter who suggested she give Kotzur credit and denied everything, saying: I’ve never seen this girl’s profile before, but so cute. ! Great minds.
While it’s possible that Bernstein herself didn’t see Kotzurs’ photo, she did note that she probably had a team of girls scouring Instagram for trends / poses / etc. popular. Either way, she says, it’s wrong.
I got so many DMs from other small creators who said similar things happened where her assistants would like the photo, so unlike that quickly and the next day Danielle will post a similar (if not the same) photo, Kotzur said. I think if it’s not her it must be the people around her and they all feed off little designer / brands because they think we don’t have a big enough voice to call them out. I think I proved her wrong on that front.
At the end of the day, all Kotzur really wants is the credit she deserves. Bernstein has over 2.6 million followers on Instagram, so a tag or some other kind of recognition could work wonders for a little creator.
I hope the biggest creators will see what happened with my video and remember when they debuted, Kotzur said. We all started somewhere. It’s so unfair to steal ideas / concepts from less followed people just because you can. There is plenty of room on social media for everyone to take a seat at the table.
Bernstein has a habit of stealing ideas from other designers.
Bernstein is no stranger to controversy and accusations. As the 28-year-old career takes off, accusations from small businesses, micro-influencers and other fashion designers flock, accusing the young entrepreneur of copying ideas without credit.
In May 2018, for example, the Bernsteins Lulu DK x WeWoreWhat jewelry collaboration came under a microscope, and many pieces in the collection were found to be eerily similar to other designers. Diet Prada, an Instagram account that holds influencers accountable, even did side by side comparisons from the Bernsteins collection with the designers she seems to have copied, and called on her to essentially sell pieces from her personal collection by designers such as Foundrae, Retrouva, Bondeye Jewelry and Tiffany & Co.
In response to the backlash, Bernstein claimed in tears that the inspiration for the line came from his late grandfather, but the damage was already done. Several of the parts were taken off the line, and the Nordstrom department store stopped selling all of the parts in question.
In March 2020, Bernstein also faced similar charges of theft of drawings this time from Cecilie Bahnsen, which Bernstein has publicly supported over the years.
When the Bernsteins Macys collection was released, Diet Prada was quick to note that it seemed like the creator was inspired by more than just Bahnsen. In particular, the baby doll mini dress from her collection bears a striking resemblance to the iconic pieces from Bahnsens.
There are several other instances where Bernstein has been called for copying and theft from other designers. In July 2020, she claimed that she was remaking a pair of vintage ’90s athletic shorts that were actually shorts she bought from Etsy. The same month, she contacted a small business called Second Wind to find out more about their fun mask and chain design, then of course decided to copy it and sell it. The list goes on.
At this point, Berinstein is so infamous for stealing other peoples’ ideas that there is even a dedicated Instagram account to call him on his BS. The account, aptly named @weoverwhat, describes himself as sick and tired of being punk by Danielle Bernstein, and he has 11,500+ followers. Be sure to give them a follow-up, as well as Diet Prada, if you want to keep up with all the latest Bernstein dramas.
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