Indie artist, Tuesday Bassen, whose designs are sold en masse in Urban Outfitters and on her own website (and who has worked with brands like Nike and Adidas), recently posted an Instagram photo addressing the similarities between her work and some of Zara’s clothing pieces. In the photo she shows side by side images of patches & pins she’s designed, and designs featured on Zara’s clothing.

In the photo, she shows the email response she and her lawyer received from Zara, in which the company basically tells her that she doesn’t have enough of a following to matter.

Bassen’s photo caption stated the following: “Ive been pretty quiet about this, until now. 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 this far. It sucks and it’s super disheartening to have to spend basically all of my money, just to defend what is legally mine.”

As many artists know, fighting to protect your work isn’t easy when you don’t have a huge platform or a pocket full of cash. Makeup Artist and YouTuber Mykie of Glam & Gore has recently been speaking up about incidents regarding Snapchat ripping off makeup looks in their filters without credit. Makeup Artist, Tattoo Artist, and Brand Owner Kat Von D recently took to Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to fight for her good friend whose logo designs have not yet been paid for by YouTube personality and Brand Owner Jeffree Star. Youtuber, Akilah Hughes, recently brought Buzzfeed Video under fire for allegations that they steal ideas & content from smaller channels.

Many brands and influencers have responded to Bassen’s allegations.

This is not new. These conversations have been happening for ages – but I think the digital ecosystem is still a big gray area when it comes to copyright and intellectual property. Bassen asks us on Instagram to “repost and tag [Zara] on Twitter, on Insta, on Facebook” if we want to help. The internet is all about community and collaboration, but where do we draw the line and how do we ensure that artists receive the credit and compensation they deserve?

Published by

Miranda Feneberger

Miranda Feneberger

In the middle of an existential crisis. If you have one of those super long phone chargers can you send it to me?

  • Nisha Katti

    This is a super late comment, but this is absolutely terrible! I was just considering purchasing some Zara items, but don’t want to anymore. Between indie artists getting ripped off and foreign workers being subjected to sweatshop conditions, it’s really hard to feel positively about any of the affordably stylish brands nowadays. It’s also very hard to find retailers that actually produce in an ethical way in ALL of their aspects. One retailer might produce in the U.S., but they’re still paying terrible wages. One might start re-purposing people’s old clothing for a “green” initiative, but is still producing their new clothing in terrible ways. (You probably know the brands I’m referencing here).

    • I know. It’s so hard, especially as young people – like sorry I truly don’t have money to buy designer or expensive sustainable brands, but one thing I try to do is thrift more and at least repurpose clothing that’s already out there. I don’t know why these brands don’t suck it up and lose some cash in favor of human rights! Super frustrating.