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$330 "I Told Ya" Shirt From "Challengers" Is Going Viral, But Fans Are Buying Cheaper Dupes

The price tag on the slogan tee is giving shoppers sticker shock.

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Luca Guadagnino's new film Challengers, starring Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O'Connor, hit theaters last week, and the buzz about the movie isn't just about its tennis love triangle plot. Fans can't stop talking about a $330 t-shirt worn by Zendaya and O'Connor's characters. The shirt is by LOEWE and has the phrase "I TOLD YA" printed in caps on three lines across the chest. Some on social media are up in arms about the cost of tee, which is made from a lightweight cotton jersey fabric and available in both grey and white. But fans still can't stop talking about it, its meaning in the film, and where to find more affordable dupes.

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In Challengers, Zendaya plays a tennis prodigy named Tashi who meets best friends and fellow tennis players Art (Faist) and Patrick (O'Connor) when they're all teens. A love triangle plays out over the next 15 years, and their respective careers play a major role in their relationships. Without giving too much away in terms of the plot, Daily Beast's Obsessed suggests that the phrase "I TOLD YA" shirt is integral to the "power play" among the three main characters, evoking the phrase "I told you so." At different points in the film, Patrick and Tashi each wear the shirt, illustrating the shifting dynamics of who's holding the cards. (Some fans have also pointed out that the "o" in "told" and the "y" in "ya" almost make the shape of a tennis racket.)

But beyond thematic relevance, the shirt is also an exact replica of one worn by John F. Kennedy Jr. in the '80s, the film's costume designer and LOEWE creative director Jonathan Anderson told WWD. According to Anderson, JFK Jr. was an inspiration for the character of Patrick, who was supposed to exude similar "old-money nonchalance."

"When JFK Jr. was younger, in the '80s and '90s, there was kind of an effortlessness to his wardrobe—like he could wear anything, and sex appeal would always be there," Anderson told WWD.

"I felt like [Patrick] should not care how he looks because, ultimately, he is not endorsed, he is not the biggest star in tennis, so his look becomes a bit ad-hoc and stuck together. But when you look at the base parts of his attire, he has very aged, expensive things, including an old wallet that's still very expensive, though it's falling apart," Anderson explained.

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While the shirt is featured in the movie, it's also played a role in the film's publicity tour, with several of the stars—including O'Connor and Zendaya—sporting the "I TOLD YA" to events. But while Zendaya is a fashion icon is many, for some fans, the $330 price tag is exorbitant for a t-shirt.

"I need challengers merch that isn't just the ridiculously expensive loewe 'i told ya' shirt," one user wrote on X. Another added, "was like why the heck aren't they selling the i told ya challengers shirt then realized they are but it's $330."

Yet another posted a gif of Nene Leakes making a disapproving face, captioning it with, "Honestly I would've paid $330 for the specific white challengers sweatshirt but paying that much for a plain [expletive] tshirt that says 'I told ya.'"

zendaya in nyc wearing i told ya t-shirt
Gotham/GC Images / Getty images

But, as with many things, other sellers have put dupes of the shift up for sale—and some fans are buying these cheaper options instead of shelling out for LOEWE's authentic version.

One wrote that they found a copy of the shirt on Amazon for just $20, while others found options on Etsy.

A simple search for the shirt on Google also yields results for several stores selling copycat t-shirts. There are also dupes of sweatshirts that are also part of the exclusive LOEWE collection. The official sweatshirts come in white and grey and also have "I TOLD YA" on the front, retailing for $690.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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