Fast fashion retailer Zara has been accused of copying the art work of New York graffiti artist Patrick Waldo, and printing it on a new batch of tshirts. Waldo was responsible for decorating the billboards of New York with swirly text on the upper lip of faces reading ‘moustache’. His work could be seen throughout the city in 2010 and early 2011 until he was caught, arrested and jailed.
It’s not the first time Zara have been caught misappropriating the work of street artists. In 2007, Zara were also accused of ripping off the design of a street artist. It’s difficult to see how the chain store believed they would get away with it a second time, particularly with such a high profile design like Waldo’s, which he claims to have decorated thousands of posters with. The retailer have reportedly removed the offending tshirts from their website and shop floors, but not before significant press coverage of the infringement. Could it be a case of no publicity is bad publicity? Fashion week is a notoriously competitive week for press coverage after all….