LA based designer Tuesday Bassen has accused global fashion brand Zara of copying a number of her designs in their latest collections without asking permission.
No stranger to working with large brands, Bassen has collaborated with the likes of Adidas and Urban Outfitters, as well as a long list of media including the New York Times, but felt the details featured in Zara's latest designs were too similar to her own and wanted acknowledgement from the brand.
Bassen's signature style is very distinctive with a playful, colourful range of illustrations. In order to highlight the strong similarities, she posted a comparison of her work next to that of Zara's on her Instagram yesterday stating that she had to address the situation.
"I've been pretty quiet about this, until now," Bassen wrote. "Over the past year, @zara has been copying my artwork (thanks to all that have tipped me off – it's been a lot of you). I had my lawyer contact Zara and they literally said I have no base because I'm an indie artist and they're a major corporation and that not enough people even know about me for it to matter. I plan to further press charges, but even to have a lawyer get this LETTER has cost me $2k so far. It sucks and it's super disheartening to have to spend basically all of my money, just to defend what is legally mine."
Bassen's own designs were for a range of pin brooches and iron on patches, while Zara's were all iron-on patch designs. The image was accompanied with a legal statement from the brand denying any copyright issues between Bassen and Zara, noting that there was a "lack of distinctiveness" but did note that there had been complaints on this matter from others aside from Bassen herself.
However, it was also pointed that in comparison to the number of visitors Zara receives online, these complaints were less significant. 'Please note that such [third party] notifications amount to a handful of complaints only, when it is borne in mind that millions of users worldwide visit the respective websites monthly (Zara: 98,000.000 average monthly visits last year..)' it said.
The 27-year-old designer posted on Instagram today that she was yet to hear from Zara directly, however Inditex, the Spanish multinational company that own Zara and are also the biggest fashion group in the world, responded to the claims in a statement to British Vogue today.
"Inditex has the utmost respect for the individual creativity of all artists and designers and takes all claims concerning third party intellectual property rights very seriously," a spokesperson for the brand told Vogue.
"Inditex was recently contacted by Tuesday Bassen's lawyers who noted the use of illustrations in some badges sourced externally and on clothes in its group stores. The company immediately opened an investigation into the matter and suspended the relevant items from sale. Inditex's legal team is also in contact with Tuesday Bassen's lawyers to clarify and resolve the situation as swiftly as possible."
The global brand have confirmed they have "suspended the relevant items from sale" that Bassen called the brand up on and are working to resolve the issue.