Ariana Grande has been accused of stealing outfit designs from drag queens, Asian designers, and black culture — here's everything you need to know about the controversy

Since Ariana Grande filed a $10 million lawsuit against Forever 21 on Monday, she has been hit with accusations of hypocrisy and cultural appropriation.

The "RuPaul's Drag Race" star Farrah Moan and the fashion watchdog Instagram account Diet Prada have logged the most high-profile complaints about Grande — both, notably, about her apparent habit of copying outfits from lesser known designers and minority artists.

Here's everything you need to know about the controversy.

Grande is suing Forever 21 for allegedly using her likeness in advertisements

Forever 21 has since deleted the Instagram above, which was cited in Grande's lawsuit — but the image is still visible in the store's Like2Buy feed, linked in its Instagram bio.
@forever21/Instagram / Ariana Grande/YouTube

As Insider's Amanda Krause previously reported, Grande's lawyers filed a complaint on Monday accusing Forever 21 of attempting to sell products by hiring a model who looks "strikingly similar" to Grande and using clips and lyrics from her song "7 Rings" on social media.

Read more: Ariana Grande is suing Forever 21 over ads she says featured 'a look-alike model' wearing her signature hairstyle

The complaint argued that Forever 21 "stole her name, likeness, and other intellectual property to promote their brands for free."

Images included in the complaint show "a look-alike model" who wore clothing, accessories, and a hairstyle that many would associate with Grande, her lawyers said.

Forever 21's "look-alike" model wore a sleek, high ponytail, which is Grande's signature look.
@forever21/Instagram / Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"The resemblance is uncanny and Forever 21's intent was clear: to suggest to the viewing public that Ms. Grande endorsed Forever 21, its products, and was affiliated with Forever 21," Grande's lawyers said in the complaint.

Grande and her lawyers are seeking damages, alleging copyright and trademark infringement, false endorsement, and violating her right of publicity.

In a statement provided to Insider, Forever 21 disputed the allegations and said the company is supportive of Grande's career.

The lawsuit inspired Moan to accuse Grande of intentionally copying one of her outfits from 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

Farrah Moan, left, pictured in 2018 and Ariana Grande in her 2019 "7 Rings" video.
@farrahrized/Instagram / Ariana Grande/YouTube

On Wednesday, Moan posted a side-by-side of her entrance look for season four of "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars" and Grande's bedazzled corset from her "7 Rings" music video — alleging that Grande's team "literally sent a pic of me to the designer and paid them to copy my look from as4."

Read more: 'RuPaul's Drag Race' star Farrah Moan accused Ariana Grande of copying her style in the '7 Rings' video: 'I guess stealing from queer artists for profit is fine'

Moan said she noticed the similarities when the video was released in January, but initially thought it was a "flattering coincidence."

"It didn't honestly grind my gears until I saw the lawsuit, to be fair," Moan told "ET Live" on Thursday.

Although Moan claims she "met the seamstress that put together Ariana's version" — who apparently admitted to copying Moan's look — the drag queen said the apparent hypocrisy of Grande's lawsuit is what ultimately inspired her to speak up.

Read more:'RuPaul's Drag Race' star Farrah Moan explains why she just accused Ariana Grande of stealing her look, 8 months after the '7 Rings' video was released

"I'm not here to sue Ariana Grande, that's so ridiculous. I am such a fan of hers," Moan said. "But I do think, you know, you should cover your ground a little bit before you want to so intensely come for someone for taking something from you."

"If you are feeling so inspired by somebody, give them a platform," she continued. "If you like something that they did, or came up with, hire them to come up with something for you. Buy something from them. Don't go behind their back and try to steal it and backpedal."

Moan hopes that, given the media coverage of this controversy, big names and businesses will move to "incorporate the queer and other minority artists that are underground into the projects that they're doing."

On Thursday, Diet Prada shared a 'mood board' that allegedly inspired Grande's tour outfits

Diet Prada, a fashion watchdog account with 1.5 million followers on Instagram, posted a slideshow of images labeled "Sweetener Mood Board."

According to the account, which is run by Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler, the collection of images was shared with multiple designers, who were approached by Grande's team to create onstage looks for her "Sweetener World Tour." (Versace was ultimately chosen to design six custom-made outfits for the 2019 tour.)

Read more: 52 photos that show Ariana Grande's dramatic style evolution, from Nickelodeon teen to global phenomenon

Diet Prada claimed the mood board 'proof of Ariana Grande's appropriation of black aesthetics'

"If you've ever needed proof of Ariana Grande's appropriation of black aesthetics (beyond the obvious), it's all here," Diet Prada's caption reads.

The caption notes that 72 percent of the images "features black women as a reference."

Rihanna performing at the 2016 VMAs, left, and Ariana Grande performing during the "Sweetener World Tour."
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP / Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Indeed, the vast majority of the mood board features Rihanna. It also includes a few photos of Ciara.

Grande has been accused of appropriating black culture in the past, most notably with her popular single "7 Rings." Some listeners say Grande lifted aspects of the hip-hop infused track from black artists like Soulja Boy and stole the video's pink trap house aesthetic from 2 Chainz (who went on to collaborate with Grande for a "7 Rings" remix).

The rapper Princess Nokia was among many critics who focused on the lyric, "You like my hair? Gee thanks, just bought it," claiming it whitewashes the politics surrounding hair in black communities.

Read more:Ariana Grande apologized for reposting a fan who said her '7 Rings' lyric about buying hair is 'gonna solve racism'

Grande has also been scrutinized for her skin tone. Some critics say she has intentionally encouraged her own racial ambiguity in order to capitalize on the perceived "coolness" of blackness. Grande herself says her deep tan is thanks to her Italian heritage.

Grande's stylist has come to her defense, saying he created the mood board

Law Roach, the celebrity stylist and Image Architect, re-posted Diet Prada on his Instagram story and defended Grande.

"I don't really understand this post," he wrote. "This mood board was created by me (a black man) for her. So am [I] stealing from my own culture??? She didn't style herself people. She has trusted me for years with her image and lets me do me. Also who [in] the fashion industry isn't inspired by Rihanna?"

Law Roach has styled famous clients like Ariana Grande and Zendaya.

Many of Diet Prada's commenters appeared to agree with Roach, arguing that drawing inspiration from black artists isn't necessarily the same as appropriating black culture.

"I'm African American and I wouldn't necessarily say these images are 'black aesthetics' where did you get that from?" one comment reads.

"Since when is drawing inspiration from a fashion icon like Rihanna considered cultural appropriation?" reads another.

Many commenters believe Grande is copying, but not appropriating.

'OK but why didn't she just ask Creepyyeha for a costume?'

Even as commenters defended Grande against accusations of appropriation, many do believe she has a "copy-cat problem."

Aside from photos of Rihanna and Ciara, the rest of the mood board is comprised of screenshots from the Instagram account of Yeha Leung, a Brooklyn-based Asian designer who creates made-to-order bondagewear under the brand name Creepyyeha.

As Diet Prada notes, several of Grande's custom-made tour outfits closely resemble some of Leung's designs, which have been worn by stars like Lizzo and Dita Von Teese.

Some of Grande's custom-made Versace outfits closely resemble Leung's designs.
@creepyyeha/Instagram / Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana Grande

For many, the similarities underscore Moan's original point: Big names and companies should hire lesser known artists, especially minority designers, rather than using them just for inspiration.

"so annoyed that she didn't just hire @creepyyeha for this, ariana's copy looks like a sad boohoo bootleg," one person wrote.

"why not just like ... i dunno Hire the brand that you're inspired by??? instead of having a different designer copy it?? shocking concept," another person wrote.

Von Teese also commented, writing, "Thank you for standing up for @creepyyeha."

@creepyyeha/Instagram / Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Ariana Grande

It's also not lost on critics that Grande's team drew significant inspiration from an Asian designer after she was accused of exploiting Japanese culture "for the aesthetic."

Back in January, Grande got a now-infamous tattoo of two kanji characters, meant to say "seven rings" in Japanese. Instead, it was misspelled and actually translated to mean "shichirin," which is a small BBQ grill.

Grande has often expressed a love for Japan and Japanese culture. She began learning the language in 2015 and has demonstrated her progress on numerous occasions. Grande has even given online shout outs to her tutor Ayumi, who works at Fuji, a Japanese language school in little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

But after Grande admitted that she knew it was misspelled, critics thought her tattoo blunder indicated a disrespect for the language.

Read more: This is why a white woman wearing a traditional Chinese dress is cultural appropriation

Grande later consulted her tutor and tried to fix the tattoo, although it still technically didn't say "seven rings."

"I can't read or write kanji obviously. What do you want me to do? It was done out of love and appreciation. What do you want me to say?" she wrote on Twitter. "There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation."

Leung, Liu, Schuyler, Moan, and representatives for Grande didn't respond to Insider's request for comment.