Retail clothing company H&M has been accused of stealing an original design from an American artist and using it for its own homeware collection.
The Swedish high street store has been blamed for ripping off a graffiti artist’s work and then reproducing it without the artist’s permission.
Tori LaConsay, of East Atlanta, in United States, painted a sign on a disused billboard in Georgia that wrote “You Look Nice Today” to put a smile on the faces of all commuters and residents in the area.
The work was in black lettering, on a white background and it ended with a small red heart.
Recently, H&M published a range of household items, merchandise and apparel in the UK including pillowcases, sheets, towels and doormats all with a similar slogan of the same words, same font and same heart.
When confronted, H&M denied copying the design and stated that it was not a direct copy. However, the international fashion firm sparked an internet fury and was slammed on social networking sites for its customer service response.
A spokesperson said: “We employ an independent team of over 100 designers. We can assure you that this design has not been influenced by your work and that no copyright has been infringed.”
The organisation has since issued an apology on their Facebook page for customer service’s poor handling of the matter, stating: “We apologies if anyone should think we have copied, which has never been our intention and also not allowed. We have merely been inspired, after seeing many different varieties with different text messages, to create something similar in a different font, with the use of big and small brackets and the placement of the shaped heart.
“We are truly sorry if we have led someone to believe that we intentionally should have copied someone else’s creation.”
They have since tried to quash the controversy and control the damage on Facebook by saying that they are in contact with the designer. And since the complaint came to light, the homeware items have been removed from the H&M website.
Check out Ulster Weaver’s vast range of homeware items which includes our own and many other designers.
Image courtesy of ArtLyst.