Welcome to Straight Up With Sophie, a new weekly column in which Sophie Ross explains three controversies currently unfolding online.


I try to give Caroline Calloway as little airtime as possible in my professional writing, but I just had to share this little gem with the world, because it’s something I’ll be thinking about for a long time.

First, some backstory: Infamous Instagram creator Calloway has long sold her overpriced arts-and-crafts for hilariously exorbitant prices. (Her previous scams include a failed $500,000 book deal, a botched series of workshops that were $165 a ticket, and a memoir called Scammer that she sold via preorder in January for $25—plus shipping—that she still hasn’t finished writing, let alone shipped. Yes, the irony of the book’s title should not be lost on you.) 

You can catch up on some of her previous art scams here, but this latest cash grab takes the cake: Calloway ordered an oil-painted copy of Matisse’s famous Goldfish painting for $200 on Etsy, drew a few lines on it, and is now selling it for $1,000, along with some versions she churned out herself (which look markedly different from the one she bought, which is—again—on sale via Calloway’s Instagram page). Enty also wrote up a blind item on gossip blog Crazy Days and Nights about the scam. (“A-List”? Did a certain someone send this in herself?)

Yes, you may feel like you’re losing your mind reading this. But please know that for those of us who’ve been following Calloway’s antics for years, this is the most predictable thing that’s happened in 2020 thus far.


Amazon Is Suing Influencers For Selling Counterfeit Goods on Instagram

The Fashion Law reported on Thursday that Amazon is taking legal action against two influencers for knowingly selling counterfeit luxury goods—like fake Gucci wallets and Dior handbags—on Instagram. 

The subjects of the complaint are two people I’ve thankfully never heard of, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Sabrina Kelly-Krejci, along with 11 third-party Amazon marketplace sellers. (Both influencers’ Instagram accounts appear to have been deactivated since the news broke.) 

According to The Fashion Law, Amazon is alleging the group conspired to pull off a “sophisticated scheme” that involved evading the company’ anti-counterfeit protections: Essentially, Fitzpatrick and Kelly-Krejci would promote the counterfeit goods via swipe-ups on their social channels while the sellers uploaded very different products—as generic placeholders that don’t infringe on any brands’ trademarks, names, or logos—to the website’s actual marketplace. If that sounds confusing, just check out the examples in The Fashion Law’s Instagram post:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Amazon is cracking down on the sale of counterfeits on its platform by way of a new lawsuit that involves two influencers, nearly a dozen Amazon third-party sellers, and an alleged scheme to peddle fakes under the radar of its increasingly robust anti-counterfeiting controls. According to the complaint that it filed on Thursday, Amazon claims that #influencers Kelly Fitzpatrick & Sabrina Kelly-Krejci, along with 11 Amazon marketplace sellers, are on the hook for the “unlawful and expressly prohibited advertisement, promotion, and/or sale of counterfeit luxury products on Amazon,” in violation of Amazon’s policies & the law. •• Full article on the site. Link in bio & in stories. #thefashionlaw #fashionlaw

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How very Sasha Benz of them. (Read the below thread if you’re not familiar with her similar dupe scheme.)


Hilary Duff Wears Something Navy, Deletes Comments Calling Her Out

Things have been relatively quiet on the Arielle Charnas front lately, but there was an interesting turn of events Thursday when Hilary Duff Instagrammed herself in a Something Navy set. Influencer watchdog account Influencers Truth quickly pounced on it, and critical comments began to flood in. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

For 5 am she pulled it together ☝🏼 think I may be living in this sweater and skirt dream the next few months

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“This is extremely disappointing.” “We don’t stan Arielle, bye.” One comment read Arielle for filth, as far as I’m concerned: “The reckless and flippant behavior surrounding COVID… the plagiarized designs… the dishonest business practices, no transparency regarding their claims of ‘sustainability,’ and continual criticism for their lack of diversity… I admire you and so do many others, but this is a bummer.” 

Duff allegedly deleted other disparaging comments, according to Influencers Truth

It’s interesting that Arielle’s COVID debacle was over six months ago at this point—long forgotten by many of her fans, if her comments section is any indication—but clearly, (most) people don’t forget. 

Speaking of which, Brandon Charnas blocked me on Instagram this week.