Artists work really hard to create what they see in their heads. They spend a lot of time and sometimes money to make their art come to life. To be able to do that is amazing, and I have so much respect for people who can make new things based on an idea. Recently, however, it has been discovered that major fashion companies have been stealing ideas from indie designers. Stealing anything that isn't rightfully yours is horrible, and to then use those stolen items to make money is just downright greedy.
Recently news came out that Tuesday Bassen, an indie designer in Los Angeles, Olivia Mew, creator of Stay Home Club in Canada and Adam Kurtz from New York are all having their work copied and sold. The thieves are fashion companies Zara and River Island and a few more. These companies are stealing indie artists' work and selling it on their own products as if they made the designs up.
The image below shows the original Stay Home Club design on the left and the stolen one on the right. Not only is the one on the right cheap looking, but the company's sewing skills really need some work.
Tuesday Bassen has contacted Zara, and they sent her a letter back saying that because she isn't a major designer that it doesn't matter, basically stating that it’s cool to steal someone's work if they're not famous. Bassen plans to further pursue legal action and copyright her work. Olivia Mew from Stay Home Club does not plan to take legal action because it is so expensive.
The sad part is that these indie artists and small companies don’t have the funds necessary to take on these giant corporations. To companies like Zara, stealing from artists isn't a big deal because they know nothing can be done. There’s clearly no ethical code that matters to them either, because most people don’t steal other people's work. The major companies are not following the rules that the little companies are following, and it’s creating situations like this.
There needs to be more protection for small companies that are creating cool things and allowing artists to create what they want. Copyrighting and hiring lawyers should be made cheaper to allow small companies more options when it comes to protecting their work. As for the major companies, stricter rules for them should be put in place. Along with stricter rules, more research should be done on products before being released. It might be more expensive for the major companies to put out new goods, but they have the money and the consumers to reimburse them.
Art is something that should be encouraged by everyone, including companies. Art is awesome and it brings people together. The idea that major companies are stealing indie artists' designs to sell in order to make money for them is despicable. Hopefully the big companies will realize what they are doing, stop and come up with original designs. Remember that independent artists are important for the community and they need to be supported.
Buy stuff from independent artists and shops. They make rad stuff and it helps promote art.
You can check out more of the stolen work here.