Jewelry artist Stevie Koerner sells her “A World of Love” pendants on Etsy (left). They’re adorable little charms in the shapes of states with hearts cut out of them. Urban Outfitters liked the pendants so much that they decided to copy the charms, almost exactly (right), and call them “I Heart Destination Necklaces.” And they did all of this without approaching Koerner about her designs.
It’d be great if big stores like Urban worked with small designers to help get their wares out to a bigger audience — and often they do. I have several friends who create private label goods for the hip clothing company (private label is when an indie designer sells designs under another label’s name). But just as often, Urban — and other mega stores — have been caught straight up ripping off independent designers. Last summer, the company was called out for ripping off Brooklyn designer Lilian Crowe, who made necklaces featuring rib cages, spines and skulls (they’re neat-looking, really!). Keep reading »