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28 Jan

TikTok Star ‘Tami’ Talks Feeling ‘Shook’ by Shein Design

As a TikTok standout for her styling and designing, Tamara Strzelecki is accustomed to putting herself on the market. But she was stopped cold earlier this month when one among her followers shared a picture of a Shein dress imprinted with what she feels resembles her profile.

Strzelecki, who is understood on TikTok simply as “Tami,” first was clued in in regards to the Shein dress on Jan. 11. “Shocked” by the seemingly strong resemblance to herself and her likeness, she said she will need to have checked out it 10 times before laughing nervously. “Then it began creeping me out a bit. I prefer to discuss my life generally with my TikTok so I went to TikTok and made the video about feeling shook after seeing this dress that appears identical to me,” Strzelecki said.

Executives at Shein didn’t reply to requests for comment Thursday or Friday.

While her online business Sugs’ Shoppe has been running for 15 years, it became successful last 12 months after one among her getting-ready videos — for a visit to her therapist — went viral, she said. Greater than 1 million viewed it, liked her style, realized she sold online and began supporting Sugs’ Shoppe. Strzelecki previously worked in hospice care, but a bout with long COVID-19 in 2020 sidelined her for an prolonged time frame. That prompted her to affix TikTok and determine how one can earn extra money.  

She said she raised her concerns in regards to the similarities and requested more information in regards to the dress design in two emails to Shein, but received no response. The stylist bought the $20 dress to see for herself, despite having never purchased anything from the fast fashion, ”which isn’t really my thing.” After posting one other video of herself wearing the Shein dress, an attorney follower offered legal assistance and suggested sending a cease-and-desist letter. Two subsequent cease-and-desist e-mails haven’t been responded to yet, Strzelecki said. With a small business to run, she said she only has a lot time to press this legally.

The best way she sees it, the difficulty is her logo relies off of her likeness, her style is hers alone, too, and something that she takes plenty of pride in. “Seeing any person else capitalizing on my likeness just made me really uncomfortable. It didn’t feel fair,” said Strzelecki, adding that there are copyrights to guard one’s likeness in her home state. “An enormous influx” of individuals were “quite rude,” posting claims that she didn’t look anything just like the dress, she said. That made her consider the potential for a doppelganger, but her 2022 viral experience on TikTok makes her think that the design was more intentional.

The dress has subsequently sold out on the Shein site. Having felt “really creeped out to start with” by the design, she said is trying not to emphasize out an excessive amount of now. Acknowledging that it could be nice to listen to back from Shein, Strzelecki said she is going to probably play off the dress more “especially if I haven’t heard from them.”

The stylist and designer has posted a couple of videos of herself wearing the Shein design.

Some followers have speculated that a picture was utilized by Shein via AI and Strzelecki noted how Shein has faced copyright infringement allegations from designers previously. The 38-year-old said her husband found the dress to be funny, and her 7-year-old and 9-year-old children deemed the similarity “so cool.” She said, “I’m just attempting to not be completely overwhelmed by the entire thing. But it surely’s crazy.”

Having polished up some latest handbag designs recently, the designer will even soon introduce some Michigan-made rompers that she has been working on. The Shein controversy has made a “bunch of individuals” suggest to Strzelecki that she design shirts or dresses along with her likeness to sell herself online. “I actually have been talking to a friend about getting some designs together. I figure, if Shein goes to make cash off of my face, I’d as well attempt to do the identical.”

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