Sassy Saturday: Mariia Leotards

Posted: Dec 08 2014

Now before you start calling me a “hater,” I just wanted to clarify that the following paragraphs are my personal opinion on the topic. I don’t mean to offend anyone (or any company) in any way; I just want to state my thoughts.. and really, that’s what #sassysaturday is all about. (#unfiltered thoughts. amirite?) This week’s topic was bound to happen: Mariia Leotards need to stOP. Are you as offended by this as I am?

For those of you who don’t know what the fuss is about, Discount Dance launched a new leotard line, dubbed “Mariia,” a few weeks (months?) ago. Almost right after the announcement, people were furious – including me. Why? They were flippantly copying other leotard brands, specifically Yumiko, Eleve, and Jule Dancewear. That is NOT OKAY.

raise your hand if you've ever been personally vicitimized by Mariia leotards

Raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by Mariia.

I knew there were other dance apparel companies trying to make a few designs similar to Yumiko, but they’d always changed some part to make it unique (Example: Natalie’s Racerback Tank Leotard was very similar to Yumiko’s Cora, but they’d changed it to a racerback instead of a simple tank.) I understand using other designs for inspiration, but, this?! I wouldn't be that annoyed if they'd only "stolen" a few designs, but every single one of their designs is from somewhere else. You can argue and say, "But no, the cutting is an inch off," or, "There are different/less colors," or, "The fabrics are different," but no. It's obviously unoriginal. 

The biggest reason for all the so-called hate is this simple fact: these are stolen designs. Everything from their styles to the placement of their logo* – it's all stolen. Here's the list you've been waiting for, all the Mariia styles – and where they were originally from:

If you ask me, that list is way too long. I wasn't exaggerating when I said every single leotard is from another company. There's no denying it.


(Right to Left: Mariia's Irina, Yumiko's Alex)

First of all, it's extremely disrespectful. Yumiko (mainly), Eleve, and Jule have worked especially hard to create unique designs, and to have another company just take it? RUDE. Imagine working hours on an essay, then have someone else just sweep in and take all the credit, screaming, "Look at this beautiful essay! I worked so hard on stealing your words!" .. NO.

Also, what kind of company does that make Mariia and Discount Dance? I wouldn't want to wear clothes that represent the idea they're trying to convey. I wouldn't want others to think I think stealing is acceptable. (Alright, "stealing" is kind of a harsh word but..) Whenever I wear clothes, I want it to translate a message. (Example: Our 'Odile' Pullover practically screams, "Odile with it!") Maybe you're not spiritual with your leotards (even though I am). Maybe you'd just want to buy a pretty leotard, but can't afford expensive Yumikos. That's fine with me; feel free to wear whatever you'd like. But if you ask me, wearing Mariia leotards would go against my values.

*Jule Dancewear has their logo in the same place. Coincidence? I think not.

What are your thoughts on Mariia leotards? Let us know in the comments below!


  • Posted by Angela on May 01, 2017

    Mariia brand is owned by Discount Dance Supply. ALL IT IS IS A CHEAP COPY OF YUMIKO,.. made by Lulli Factory. This is just cheap stuff made by the biggest s-hole in the dance business Brian Hill

  • Posted by Michelle on February 15, 2017

    Okay I realize this is an old post but I have to get this off my chest:

    There is this little thing called copyright that applies to certain “original works of authorship”, such as writing. Hence, someone taking your essay and publishing it as theirs would constitute copyright infringement. As you rightly point out, you cannot do that.

    The same is not true for leotard designs – a leotard is hardly a (graphic) “work” and thus not subject to copyright. Designs can be protected by registering an exclusive design right, but you have to apply (and pay) for this protection, and the threshold is high, in that the design must actually be (very) original and not contribute to the item’s functionality (otherwise the person who invented, say, the halterneck leotard could monopolize the concept of a halterneck, and it is evident that that’s not a good idea).

    I agree it is a bit cheeky of Mariia to copy other manufacturer’s designs right and left, but it is NOT illegal and it certainly does not warrant this outrage. There are a limited number of ways to design a functional leotard and all of us who like to buy leotards are extremely grateful if there are many, many companies offering as many different leos as possible (“different” in terms of color, trim, length, cut of the leg, fabric, and yes, price… there are so many more characteristics to a leo than just its design). We all benefit from this choice, and giving an already hugely successful company like Yumiko a run for its money will likely make THEIR products even better because of the competition.

    I understand the basic sentiment of “it’s horrendous that a huge company like DiscountDance copied a design created by a small business” (Jule Dancewear), but banning that would mean bye-bye to the free market economy, and we definitely do not want fewer leos, do we?

  • Posted by Cameron on November 13, 2016

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  • Posted by Vicky on March 27, 2016

    I agree they pretty well copied Yumiko. But there are no Yumiko boutiques here in Canada so Mariia is a pretty great alternative for the same look for less money and available in my country.

  • Posted by Brianna on February 06, 2016

    In our capitalistic society, competition drives innovation, which spurrs imitation. And as we all know, imitation is the highest form of flattery.

  • Posted by Liz on June 24, 2015

    I am offended by this too. Especially in the instance of jule Dancewear, she’s a small business for crying out loud!!! At least the others are more established but it’s still such a rip off. They don’t even have a single style they can call there own. I’ll never support them

  • Posted by Aliana on June 06, 2015

    I agree with Holly. Anyone who wears clothes from stores such as Forever 21 and almost all other lower end fashion stores are committing the same crime. Yet you don’t get upset that you are not wearing an original DKNY. I personally could not afford a $100 leotard from Yumiko that cost $16-$18 the most to make and I find it upsetting that they make that kind of a margin. As Holly said this is common practice in the fashion industry and most people don’t buy original designs.

  • Posted by Sofia on June 05, 2015

    Discount Dance should have included some original designs for sure. I won’t be getting any Mariia’s because I personally don’t like the quality because the fabric looks and feels. I’d much rather spend my money on an Elevé.

  • Posted by Holly on January 12, 2015

    From what I’ve read, this is very common and for the most part accepted in the fashion industry. It’s something that a lot of mall stores like forever 21 do with runway or fancy name designs. Dancewear might be an isolated industry, but I’m thinking it’s probably connected closely to fashion since yumiko hires professional models and not dancers. They probably aren’t too bothered by it, that’s just kind of how it is

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