On Friday, November 18, the anonymous graffiti artist took to Instagram to accuse the clothing retailer of using his work without his permission before telling his 11.7 million followers to shoplift from one of its stores.
"Attention all shoplifters," Banksy wrote in a caption, which he superimposed on top of a photo of the Guess outpost in central London.
"Please go to GUESS on Regent Street," he implored. "They've helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?"
The photo posted by Banksy — who also won his appeal with the EU Intellectual Property Office to keep the trademark of his "Monkey Signs" series earlier this week — shows the Guess storefront, where several mannequins in front of a backdrop featuring his iconic "Flower Thrower" piece can be seen in clothing printed with several of his designs, including "Thug for Life Bunny” and "Mickey Billboard in Los Angeles." The display is tied to Guess' new Fall/Winter 2022 collaboration with graffiti licensees Brandalised, which is touted as "a special capsule collection with graffiti by Banksy."
According to ArtNews, Guess chief creative officer Paul Marciano previously talked about the collection being a reflection of the artist's impact, saying in a press release that "the graffiti of Banksy has had a phenomenal influence that resonates throughout popular culture."
He added, "This new capsule collection with Brandalised is a way for fashion to show its gratitude."
Granted, this isn't the first time Guess has gotten in trouble thanks to one of its licensees. Last year, the retailer and Signal Brands were criticized online over the striking similarities between their G-logo tote and Telfar's coveted Shopping Bag, resulting in the line being pulled.
Neither Marciano nor Guess have publicly responded to Banksy's accusations. Brandalised also has yet to comment. However, TMZ reports that the Regent Street location is now closed and has covered up the display. The store has also apparently increased security. See the artist's call to arms for yourself below.
Photo via Getty / Georg Wendt / picture alliance
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