Plagiarism is rampant in the design world, like Victoria’s Secret copying Pat McGrath’s packaging, Forever 21 using Wildfang’s design, and all of the controversy surrounding Kylie Jenner and her merch. However, that’s not to say it’s ever appropriate. The latest guilty party is none other than Anthropologie.
The boho-chic chain allegedly stole the design for a pair of earrings from indie jewelry designer Laurel Hill. The earrings in question are Hill’s Gate Hoops ($96), which she crafts by hand and currently sells on her own site.
Anthropologie’s version, called Lunar Cutout Hoop Earrings ($38) bears more than a passing resemblance to Hill’s creation. Interestingly, Anthropologie is owned by the same company as Free People, who sold Hill’s designs back in 2014 and 2015, something Hill explained in an Instagram post detailing her story.
In an angry post to her Instagram, the artist wrote, “WHAT THE FUCK @anthropologie. This is so rude. I’m a person! You’re a collective of people! Somewhere in there, someone was like “WOW we like these earrings but we don’t want to support the designer or living wages or being decent humans so please send this ‘inspo’ pic of the original design to our factory overseas for cheap manufacture.” DUDES COME ON. In the spirit of human-to-human interaction, I tried reaching out to the buyer a few times and… crickets. I honestly expected more.”
Unfortunately, the big guy profiting off the little guy like this happens quite often, and the artists whose work was co-opted often don’t have the means to fight back, so they have to resort to social media. As of now, it appears Anthropologie has removed their version of the earrings from their site, which is a great first step, but hopefully, they issue a public apology and Hill sees some form of compensation. Your move, Anthropologie.
What’s your opinion on Anthropologie’s actions? Discuss over @BritandCo!
(Photos via Josh Brasted, Eugene Gologursky/Getty)