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cara delevingne angers feminists by recreating ‘the future is female’ t-shirt

The model and actor is selling her own version of the recently revived 70s lesbian separatist slogan T-shirt.

Briony Wright

Image from Cara Delevingne's Instagram.

In the 70s, a radical lesbian feminist publishing group designed a t-shirt featuring the slogan "THE FUTURE IS FEMALE." Today, it's resonating with a modern audience so much that more than one party is selling their own versions. And, while it's probable that everyone involved has the best intentions, there are now accusations of copyright and good-will laws being violated.

Late last month, i-D published a news story about the original t-shirt, which was made for Labyris Books (the first women's bookstore in New York City) by photographer Liza Cowan, who also shot an image of her then-girlfriend, Alix Dobkin, wearing it.

Alix Dobkin wearing the original t-shirt in 1975. Photography Liza Cowan. 

Recently, the owner of Otherwild design studio, Rachel Berks, discovered the vintage print on h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y and approached the original creators about remaking it, selling it on Otherwild's website (which specializes in cool queer-centric products), and donating 25% of the profits to Planned Parenthood.

As we reported, the t-shirt was an instant hit. Annie Clark of St Vincent bought one for herself and one for her girlfriend, Cara Delevingne. Yesterday though, Cara announced that she was making and selling her own version of the shirt and that proceeds would go to the United Nations Foundation's adolescent girl campaign, Girl Up. Right now, Otherwild and its LGBTQ supporters are accusing Delevingne of stealing the idea from a small, queer feminist-owned business. Their argument is that what she is doing is contrary to everything the slogan stands for. 

While Cara is claiming that the slogan wasn't created by Otherwild and is therefore not owned by the brand, the people at h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y are standing behind Otherwild. A post on the h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y Instagram account reads: "This is not the female future. Please go to Delevigne's Insta account and tell her to CUT the SHIT ---> Please share this msg./support #Otherwild"