It’s a widely accepted fact that fast fashion’s designers — how shall we put this — borrow liberally from the runway. However, injured parties like luxury brand Céline choose to look the other way (we suspect) because their well-to-do customer is not shopping at Zara or the like. That, or lax copyright laws make prosecuting time consuming and ineffective. However, when popular retailers blatantly lift designs from smaller fishes, i.e. indie designers, it triggers our sense of moral outrage.
At least a dozen indie artists have recently come forward with complaints that Zara, River Island, Bershka, Forever 21 and more copied their work without offering attribution or compensation. As mainstream clothing companies scramble to stay on top of the rising DIY movement and fulfill customers’ hunger for craft pins and patches, indie artists are getting trampled in the fray. However, Los Angeles-based illustrator Tuesday Bassen and Montreal-based Stay Home Club founder Olivia Mew aren’t shying away from the fight.
It being 2016, the Davids of the world have a very useful platform on which to stand and take on the Goliaths — social media. On Sunday, Mew took to Instagram to call out River Island after a U.K. fan pointed out the striking similarity between Mew’s work and a patch sold by the high street retailer. (more…)