Who are Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler? Dolce & Gabbana sues Diet Prada’s founders who exposed racist messages
Dolce & Gabbana in early 2019 filed a lawsuit against two US bloggers -- Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler -- who run Diet Prada, an Instagram account and fashion watchdog group founded in 2014. The suit was filed in a civil court in Italy, demanding that Diet Prada pay more than $600 million as compensation. The action for defamation was filed because a year earlier, in 2018, Liu and Schuyler exposed racist messages accredited to founder Stefano Gabbana's Instagram account. The revelation led to widespread criticism for the Italian luxury fashion house.
In response to the suit, Diet Prada has recently filed a defense of their freedom of speech. “With so much anti-Asian hate spreading in the U.S., it feels wrong to continue to remain silent about a lawsuit that threatens our freedom of speech. We are a small company co-founded by a person of color, trying to speak out against racism in our own community,” the company said in a statement, before adding: “Having cultivated Diet Prada as a platform where we can denounce racism, amplify stories from the larger BIPOC community, and hold the fashion industry to a higher ethical standard, has been one of the most rewarding experiences thus far and our only hope is to protect that."
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Who are Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler?
Liu and Schuyler in their 30s are the watchdogs who came in to save the fashion industry from stealers and cheaters. The pair came to know each other through work. Together they used to attend runway shows and in that process, they realized that there were several costumes that were exact copies of another designer’s work. And that’s how they created Diet Prada anonymously before being revealed to the public by The Fashion Law in October 2017.
The duo is often called ‘fashion vigilantes’ and they love the title as once Liu told Elle, “Of all the labels, I probably like ‘vigilante’ the most. I’d like to think of us as advocates for design, integrity and originality, rather than critics. Because a lot of people like to call us critics too, but we really aren’t. A part of the drive to keep doing this is to help out the brands that have been knocked off. Sure, they can send out a tweet or message, but they need somebody to elevate that. A lot of them don’t have the money to litigate, so social-media shaming really helps because it catches on.”
As per reports, Liu is a graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago while Schuyler earned her degree from Florida State University. Along with handling Diet Prada, Liu is also the founder of a line of casual menswear called You As. Schuyler runs a consulting practice. They first posted on Diet Prada in December 2014. At the time, the account had not many followers. But years later, when The New York Times exposed Harvey Weinstein, the Instagram account also took a more serious tone and the number of followers increased multiple times. Currently, the account is followed by 2.5 million people and social media accounts, like those of Gigi Hadid, Carine Roitfeld, Edward Enninful and Karlie Kloss are among its followers.