Beauty guru James Charles accused of stealing merch designs from controversial YouTubers Ethan and Hila Klein

  • YouTuber and beauty mogul James Charles recently teased an upcoming collection of color-blocked hoodies from his Sisters Apparel brand.
  • Podcaster and YouTuber Ethan Klein took to Twitter suggesting that Charles had copied the color palette used in wife Hila's designs for their apparel company Teddy Fresh.
  • The couple both shared photos highlighting the similarities between the color-blocked sweatshirts.
  • Charles addressed the allegations, claiming that he had communicated with Klein and provided a photo of his inspiration for the collection and that he had asked Klein for guidance on how to proceed. 
  • Klein fired back, calling Charles' response "combative and dismissive."
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In his recent TikTok and YouTube videos, beauty guru James Charles teased an upcoming merch collection with his popular Sisters Apparel brand: color-blocked hoodies emblazoned with the word "sisters," Charles' signature term of endearment for his fans. The YouTube star is already facing backlash for his designs, with some saying they're clearly inspired by other products already on the market.

On Thursday, YouTuber and podcaster Ethan Klein, who runs the H3H3 productions channel with his wife, Hila, suggested that Charles had copied the color palette used in the hoodies from the couple's apparel brand, Teddy Fresh.  

"I know we didn't invent colorblocking but I'm having a hard time w the new James Charles merch, it's the same exact design as Hila's," Klein wrote in a tweet, adding that he believed Charles' massive fanbase would mistakenly accuse his wife of plagiarizing the beauty guru's designs.  

In a follow-up post, Klein said that the similarities could be "a totally cosmic coincidence" — but he thought this was unlikely given that Charles' merch "used pretty much the identical colors."

Hila Klein then shared photos of the initial 2017 sketches for her color block hoodie, which revealed a pattern and color scheme similar to the "Sisters" hoodie Charles wore in a recent YouTube video.

The Kleins' tweets immediately sparked criticism of Charles, with commenters calling the beauty guru's merch "a rip-off."

Animator and voice actor Alex Hirsch jumped to Klein's defense, tweeting, "100% rip off bro. Ur sellin' Teddy Fresh, he's is sellin' Teddy Stale."

"It's practically the exact same thing, there's no way this is a coincidence," another commenter wrote. "If he wasn't a YouTuber then maaayybe, but even then."

Other Twitter users, however, argued that Hila Klein's designs were reminiscent of other color-blocked apparel.  

"This style has been around for awhile. It's literally a '90s aesthetic, and you can find identical looks by googling '90s color block hoodies like I did, and it took about 2 seconds," one wrote, posting photos of similar color-blocked hoodies from the clothing site ROMWE. "I'm not even a James Charles fan but the reach here is pretty embarrassing."

Charles addressed the allegations 

The beauty YouTuber took to Twitter claiming that Klein had contacted him personally about the similarities – to which he responded with a photo of the inspiration for his collection and insisted he'd never seen the Teddy Fresh designs. 

Charles said he also asked what Klein "wanted [him] to do," but did not receive a response.

"If you'd like to continue our conversation and find a solution, my DMs are still open!" he wrote in a follow-up tweet. 

Klein quickly fired back, seemingly disputing Charles' account of their conversation. 

"You told me you were going to sell them anyway. You also admitted that the similarity wasn't a coincidence," he wrote, adding that he found Charles' response "combative and dismissive.

On Friday, the podcaster shared 2019 posts from Charles in which the YouTuber accused cosmetics company Wet N Wild of "ripping off " off his eyeshadow palette.

"I'm not claiming to 'own' specific colors. BUT when you copy the exact shades & layout from my palette without even TRYING to hide it…?" Charles tweeted at the time, before writing in an Instagram story that the company should have had "more integrity." 

"Hmmmmm," Klein tweeted in reference to the year-old controversy, including screenshots from Charles' Instagram story.

Charles' new collection will launch on September 24. 

H3H3 Productions and Representatives for James Charles did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

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