Jennifer Lake and Rosie Clayton posing in front of a butterfly mural

@jenniferlake/Instagram @rclayton/Instagram Remix by Jason Reed

Inside the Instagram fashion feud that’s dividing Chicago

There's an Instagram fashion war brewing in windy city.


David Britton

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 11, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:24 am CDT

In the world of Instagram fashion accounts, personal style is everything. Those who manage to stand out can gain lucrative endorsement deals and, if nothing else, free clothes. That’s why it’s such a big deal when someone decides to copy someone else’s style.

That’s exactly what’s going on in Chicago with two popular Instagram accounts. Jennifer Lake and Rosie Clayton both have over 100,000 followers and are known for taking pictures of themselves in outfits that match the brightly colored walls behind them. Apparently the two were friends at one point, but something caused a rift and now they have shockingly similar Instagram accounts. Sometimes the post are nearly identical.

The above posts seem to make the case cut and dry. Lake’s post was made on Oct. 11, while Clayton’s came over a month later on Nov. 14.

But what about these two post:

In this case Clayton’s post was made on Nov. 12 and Lake’s was created later on Nov. 30.

The feud became public recently when Lake wrote a post called “What to do when you’re being copied on Instagram” on her personal website “Style Charade.” Although she didn’t mention her by name, it was obvious she was talking about Clayton.

To sum up the problem, someone has been using my Instagram account as a template for their own. This person has systematically copied my channel, captions, location concepts, and personal style for more than three years. I’m not talking about just a dress, a pose, a wall, etc. (although there’s that too). It’s about ongoing examples of copying (exact looks, images, and ideas). As a result, I’ve taken immense steps to try and evolve the look and feel of my Instagram account to further differentiate myself and push the creative boundaries. Every time I pivot into new territory, the individual does the same soon thereafter.

Chicago magazine reached out to Clayton for a response and the Instagram star denied the accusation. “I’m not connected with certain big fashion bloggers and I don’t have a blog [like Lake].” She told the magazine “Because I have less followers it looks like I’m the one copying.” According the Chicago article, Clayton did start her Instagram account in November of 2011, one month before Lake, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she was the first to create the style the two are now feuding over.

The answer to who started copying who, and when, is out there. All you’d have to do is look through each account until you find the first instances of copied photos. However, since Clayton has more than 2,700 post and Lake has over 3,000, and Instagram doesn’t provide an easy way to view someone’s first post, it would take an incredible amount of time and energy to find the proverbial smoking gun. Happy hunting.

H/T Chicago

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*First Published: Dec 11, 2017, 2:13 pm CST