It is no surprise that being an independent artist in today’s society is competitively difficult. Most artists would expect huge fashion retailers to be their leeway to success through partnerships and collaborations. However, this was not the case for LA based illustrator @tuesdaybassen, who claims that fast fashion retailer Zara ripped-off her work.
The illustrations seem utterly similar, which is why Tuesday Bassen’s instagram post calling the international retailer out on its copyright infringement has gained so much traction and influence (which has all been denied by Zara).
However, what is unfortunate is that small independent artists do, in fact, often find themselves in lawsuits against large corporations for copyright infringements, most of whom do not have the resources to win. This was exactly the case for Tuesday Bassen, who later posted Zara’s response on social media …
It is without a doubt that Zara has the funds and resources to collaborate with Tuesday Bassen, but has just decided not to. Rather, they have used their large and powerful domain to intimidate Tuesday Bassen into dropping the copyright infringement claim.
We are huge supporters of local fashion designers and start-ups, which is why seeing alleged copyright infringements as such is concerning and upsetting. One way that we have tried to make a difference locally is through volunteering at Toronto Fashion Incubator.
It is clear that stronger reforms need to be put in place to protect independent artists against massive fashion retailers. But for now, all we can do is hope that the power of social media can effectively get this message across.