It’s Spoonflower contest time again! This week’s theme is ghosts, and since I really have not seen ghosts, I chose to lend ghostly qualities to some pretty feathers. I think this is a great pattern for a scarf or a blouse. You can vote for my design and see the other designers’ entries here. They are all fabulous!
Last week, I read Lisa Congdon’s blog post: My Art Was Stolen for Profit (And How You Can Help). It was about how wholesale company Cody Foster allegedly stole her original designs, made them into ornaments and sold them as their own to retailers. Lisa was never approached for her permission nor was given an offer to purchase her designs. At this point I have not seen a response from Cody Foster nor know if the company is finding a way to resolve the situation. As an aspiring designer and a fan of independent artists, I feel for her and I am pleased with the support and the outrage of the design community regarding this issue.
I have worked in merchandising and product development before, and I know that inspiration research is part of the process of developing collections. There is a great deal of “cross-pollination” during this process with all the research materials you have gathered that sometimes, you do get to the point that you may be unable to pinpoint exactly where a specific inspiration came from. You can see how even during Fashion Week, designers come up with collections with similar elements that dictate what’s hot during that season. HOWEVER, there is a difference between being inspired by a design and outright stealing a design and there are consequences. I do not know Lisa personally but I am a fan of her work, and I am happy that she decided to fight back in this sort of David & Goliath situation and, with the help of social media, shed some light to this issue.
What I am more ecstatic to report is the response from big companies like West Elm and Fab.com who have put their money where their mouth is. Both companies have always committed to support and promote artists, and in this case, actually took action and have pulled all Cody Foster items from their holiday decor collections. I am a customer of both West Elm and Fab and this just makes me a more loyal one. Bravo to both!