Oh, hi! Welcome to Urban Outfitters! We sell clothes made by people with twice our talent at four times the price!
Yet another independent designer is claiming Urban Outfitters has ripped off her work. A Tumblr user with the handle Glam-Trash posted screencaps of an Urban Outfitters shirt and a T-shirt design posted to Fresh Tops carrying a design she claims lifted from a book cover she created. (We are working on finding the original cover.) Urban Outfitters should know better than to rip off people with social media presences: The post has been reblogged nearly 50,000 times.
It’s hard not to be galled by a multimillion-dollar corporation whose business model is digesting others’ work to sell cheap, neutered versions when you become the victim. Glam-Trash made her displeasure known with a salty Tumblr jag.
MY IDENTITY IS BEING RAPED…BEING RAPED BEING RAPED FOR $79
I HATE YOU.
this isnt the first time, another place is selling it for $27
I DONT GET A DIME FOR THIS, NOT EVEN FUCKING CREDIT
FUCK YOU ALL, its a little doodle, but it has actual meaning. you aren’t fucking weird, you are trendy. I’m fucking weird, that is a part of a book cover that i did for school….it was based on a story about me!!! HOW I WAS TOO WEIRD for someone i had feelings for, how i wasnt pretty or skinny like the rest and you are trying to be so “ironic” just stop. fucking stop.
After some upset over equating the theft of a T-shirt design to rape, Glam-Trash re-edited the original post to remove the first line.
The Urban Outfitters version has since sold out and the Fresh Tops listing has also been taken down. The Village Voice is awaiting comment from Fresh Tops regarding why the design was taken down. We will update as soon as they get back to us.
According to her Tumblr, Glam-Trash has been inundated with messages from followers and has decided to shut down her inbox, but she has posted that she “[doesn’t] have much comment on what’s going to happen.”
It’s not news that Urban Outfitters rips off smaller designers. It’s been happening for a long time — the Village Voice remembers reading posts on MySpace about UO stealing work . Glam-Trash is by no means the first designer to have her work lifted by Urban Outfitters wholesale. She’s not even the first one to harness social media to expose it.
Back in 2011, blogger and jewelry designer Stevie Koerner blew up the blogosphere with the revelation that Urban Outfitters had ripped off an entire line of her jewelry. According to her blog, it was that line that allowed to her pursue design full-time. Though Urban Outfitters eventually pulled the line, it wasn’t before the retailer’s reputation as thieving fashion hacks was cemented.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 7, 2013