Lululemon Stole My Work, Claims Artist Jennifer Daniel
Two years ago, artist and cycling enthusiast Jennifer Daniel (Graphics Director at Bloomberg BusinessWeek) contributed computer wallpaper to Los Angeles design blog The Fox is Black. The image, a bicycle chain in the shape of a heart, soon became what Daniel calls "probably my most popular image," licensed to bike shops in New York and London. Two years later, yoga suppliers Lululemon started selling a water bottle with a remarkably similar design, down to the number of links in the chain. Daniels noticed the similarity and, over the Thanksgiving weekend, took to her blog:
It is, I'll admit, not the most sophisticated of concepts. But it's [sic] origins come from a personal place--falling in love and biking in the city. (Like I said, not the most sophisticated of concepts). Lots of people have turned bike chains into hearts but what makes Lululemon's especially offensive is that it's a reprint of my exact drawing--minus a link.
This is only the latest story in which a large retailer has sold a design without crediting the artist who originated it: last year, Feral Childe sued Forever 21 for copying a textile design; the year before, Jeremy Scott complained about Hot Topic's imitation of his Mouse Trap sunglasses (currently listed as sold out on Hot Topic's site). Lululemon themselves only last week settled a complaint against Calvin Klein for infringing on patented yoga pants, but haven't commented on the water bottle. Daniel notes that she has registered a copyright on her design, which is still available as a free download or a $5 temp tat.