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Urban Outfitters

27 May

We’ll cop to occasionally shopping at Urban Outfitters. When you need a porcelain skull mug, a copy of The Compleat Motherfucker or a pair of cheap jeans, the hipster-knockoff chainstore is the place to go. And although we’ve heard about them lifting design ideas from independent artists before, this most recent post from Chicago-based Etsy artist Truche via her website I Make Shiny Things is just egregious and blatant. The state/country cutouts, the heart in the center, a chic little way to show your local pride co-opted by a national store without so much as a how-do-you do. As Stevie (the artist) posts:

“My heart sank a little bit. The World/United States of Love line that I created is one of the reasons that I was able to quit my full-time job. They even stole the item name as well as some of my copy.”

So, no more pre-distressed ironic-type t-shirts, flocked antlers or ruffled librarian tops and peasant skirts from Urban Outfitters. In fact, just no more of all of that right now, ok?
i heart Minnesota.

UPDATE 5/28
So Regretsy just posted an interesting addition to the heart/state fray by comparing other similar designs and concluding by saying:

“I’m not saying that Urban Outfitters doesn’t help themselves to the designs of others. They certainly have a record of pilfering designs, and they may very well have stolen this one. The question, for me at least, is who did they steal it from? And if we don’t know that much, how do we know it’s really been stolen at all?”

So, maybe it isn’t time for pitchforks and torch-burning at UO, but this much is true: You can get much more reasonably priced vinyl from your local independent record store, your friends make funnier t-shirts and better jewelry and you really don’t need a day-glo deer head in your dining room. And if you shop from your friends, you are much more likely to get something unique, and not wind up looking like a second-generation subscriber to Vice.

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