When Tuesday Bassen, an LA-based designer, started to receive letters from fans asking if she worked in collaboration with Zara, she was understandably confused. All became clear however when she noticed that the Spanish retailer had been using designs remarkably similar to her own. And by similar we mean, well, the same.
She uploaded an image to Instagram that compared Zara’s rather heavily inspired creations to her own products, writing “I’ve been pretty quiet about this, until now. Over the past year, @zara has been copying my artwork. 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.” The story didn’t end there however. Read on for more.
When designer Tuesday Bassen realized that Zara had been copying her work, she took to Instagram to highlight the issue
“I’ve been pretty quiet about this, until now,” wrote Bassen on Instagram. “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.”
She uploaded an image to Instagram that compared Zara’s “creations” to her own. And as you can see, they’re pretty similar
Bassen believes that the retailer “copied” four of her designs and so she contacted Zara to highlight the suspicious similarities. And as you can see from the letter that followed, Zara’s response was somewhat dismissive to say the least.
Zara rejected her claims and said her work “lacked distinctiveness”
Soon after Bassen raised the issue however, Adam J. Kurtz, a New York-based designer, made his own collage detailing other examples of Zara’s apparent plagiarism
An update from Bassen read: “After speaking up about my art theft and@zara’s bullying tactics, several other artists have come forward that @Zara has stolen from. @ADAMJK is updating the list at @shoparttheft, but I will update you tomorrow with numbers of. Just. How. Much. Zara. Steals. From. Artists.”
Adam also created a webpage called Shop ZARA’s Art Theft Collection that compiles stolen work and links them to the original artist’s page
“Once is a mistake,” writes Adam on his website. “This many times is inexcusable. Global fashion retailer Zara appears to have stolen dozens of artworks from over 20 independent illustrators, designers, and brands including Tuesday Bassen (whose particularly awful case has gone viral) and Adam J. Kurtz (that’s me). Help us hold the company accountable to directly address this glaring intellectual property infringement and fairly compensate these artists.”
Zara have since been in contact with Bassen but the fight still goes on
“They’ve now contacted me and I’m having my lawyer speak to them. Will keep you posted! Thank you again for the outpouring of support. Your efforts are working and I’m so appreciative. And tired.”