Toronto Zara

Toronto designers say ZARA brand copied their work

ZARA and its parent company Inditex have been under fire lately for allegedly copying independent designers and artists, including one design duo in Toronto.

Crywolf, a boutique at 91 Ossington Ave., posted a note on Facebook and Instagram yesterday detailing how Bershka (an Inditex brand) sold a pin that looked eerily similar to its own Healing Cloud pin (pictured above).

"This is not the first time it's happened to us. We have witnessed other large companies - specifically Forever21 and Urban Outfitters do the same thing to us, and other indie designers," Crywolf co-founders Rose Chang and Stephanie Drabik tell me via email.

"We did not get any resolution, as their design turnover is so frantic and fast, it was futile for us to try and pursue legal action. Big companies know this, and take full advantage of the little guy. The upside to this is that with all of the designers they ripped off in this case, we have now garnered a collective voice and Zara is getting terrible negative media attention. That is more than we could have wished for."

Earlier this week, Los Angeles-based artist Tuesday Bassen took to Instagram, claiming that ZARA had ripped off many of her designs over the past year.

Other artists have spoken out too, including New York's Adam J. Kurtz. He created the website shoparttheft.com, which catalogues the various pieces (usually pins) that ZARA has allegedly reproduced without permission. Crywolf's Healing Cloud was included in this roundup.

Chang and Drabik are now speaking to lawyers to decide what to do next.

We have reach out to Inditex for comment, but at press time, have yet to hear back.


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