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Zara Appears to Have Stolen Over 40 Pin and Patch Designs From Numerous Indie Artists

Image via ShopArtTheft.com.
Image via ShopArtTheft.com.

Following Tuesday Bassen’s public announcement that Zara has been unapologetically stealing her trademarked designs, fellow artist Adam J. Kurtz, also a victim of Zara’s theft, has begun cataloguing the large number of illustrators and designers who are currently being knocked off by the Spanish fashion chain.

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“We were all surprised to find that our creative work was suddenly all over Zara product,” Kurtz writes on his website.

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The statement continues:

Our original art has been reproduced as pin and patch sets, embroidered decals and prints on apparel. Though some of the themes maybe be simple shapes or icons, Zara’s replications are near-identical, and the massive scale of this theft from a tight-knit creative scene implies a conscious choice by Zara, Bershka, Pull&Bear, Stradivarius and the parent company Inditex to not bother making significant modifications. None of us have signed art licensing agreements, which are the standard way of compensating an artist to use their work for commercial purposes like these.

According to an update by Bassen, over 40 ripped-off designs have been catalogued by Kurtz.

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“Zara stole six designs from me and 34+ from SO MANY OTHER DESIGNERS,” Bassen wrote on Instagram, “I want to make note that Zara has blocked @-mentioning ShopArtTheft because they don’t want people to know THE VOLUME of their theft and plagiarism.”

Despite the amount of money that Bassen is currently sinking into legal fees, both Bassen and Kurtz have requested that no one set up or donate to crowdfunding sites set up in their names.

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Instead, they ask that supporters put money into buying from the artists who’ve suffered at Zara’s hands. All of their work is currently and conveniently available at shoparttheft.com.

Managing Editor, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

Dr Mrs The Monarch

What bothers me most about this besides the obvious theft is that Zara could absolutely afford to buy licenses from these artists and designers to sell the exact same merchandise. Lots of companies do this (I know West Elm and Anthropologie both do, for example). This would elevate the artists and make Zara a lot more interesting.

That Zara, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and their ilk continue to do this when the licensing fees they’d pay these artists would be negligible for them is beyond unconscionable.