South African media sensation Bonang Matheba finds herself at the center of a heated controversy amid the release of her latest collaboration with the renowned fashion brand, Steve Madden.
Matheba’s eagerly awaited line, the Bonang x Steve Madden collection, showcases a stunning range of shoes and bags. The former Metro FM host recently unveiled the collection for pre-order online, and it is set to hit stores on November 1st.
The partnership between Steve Madden and South Africa’s beloved MC was officially announced in late 2022. Matheba enthusiastically introduced the new line via social media, sharing a video that highlighted the collection, and stating:
“Presenting the brand-new Bonang Matheba x Steve Madden designed Collection. Now available for online pre-order, and in stores starting November 1st, 2023.”
Bonang Matheba accused of theft amid Steve Madden Collection Debut
However, the excitement surrounding this high-profile collaboration was short-lived when Chris Excel, a prominent figure, accused Matheba of intellectual property theft. Excel pointed out striking similarities between one of the designs in Matheba’s Steve Madden collection and an existing brand.
Bonang thinks we don’t see her 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/mXFsFsfuSL
— ChrisExcel (@ChrisExcel102) October 27, 2023
Defenders and Critics Clash: Mixed Online Reactions
The accusations prompted a flurry of reactions on social media. While some users playfully taunted Matheba over the allegations, her loyal fans rushed to her defense, contending that inspiration can be drawn from diverse sources and improved upon. Others took issue with the collection’s pricing, comparing it to more affordable alternatives available in the market. Here are some of the comments:
- @Colingwesu:There’s nothing wrong with drawing inspiration and making it better…
- @codeofV:Lol, in a world where people have discovered Shein, she still thinks she can sell these items…
- @Lil_mama261:Have you checked out Bathu? Those shoes are much cheaper in China, and we pay more for them here…
- @Phuthang15:Nawe u think we don’t see u, ukuthi u hate black success, uhlezi unegative wena njandini…
- @Zwely10111:Queen B is scamming them…
Bonang Matheba’s Global Ventures: From South Africa to New York
Bonang Matheba embarked on a journey to New York in 2020, seeking to expand her already successful career. In 2021, she received a call from Steve Madden while in New York and subsequently met with the team there.
The Bonang x Steve Madden collection was initially unveiled by Matheba on her YouTube channel in a BDazzled episode. The episode offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her collaboration with Steve Madden, marking the company’s first foray into the African market.