Forever 21 ripping off Threadless artist

I got an email from someone reporting that Forever 21 is selling a shirt that is a blatant rip-off of a design that I created for Threadless.com in October 2005

Here is my original design:

Here is the rip off:

From Forever 21:
http://www.forever21.com/product.asp?catalog_name=FOREVER21&category_name=top_graphict&product_id=2052770814&Page=1
Ripping off my design here:
http://www.threadless.com/product/342/Cookie_Loves_Milk

It’s obvious that this is a rip off, but not only that, it even looks like a trace. The angle of the milk carton is the same in the rip off, as is the hand holding and the arms and legs.

you can see what I am talking about with the angle of the rip off in this gif a friend put together:

This is especially depressing to me since I went through something similar to this a few months back with Hot Topic and another on of my Threadless designs. I was able to get a lawyer and Threadless involved and got Hot Topic to stop selling the shirt.

You can read more about that here:

http://youthoughtwewouldntnotice.com/blog3/?p=861

and the resolution here:

http://finkenstein.livejournal.com/102250.html

I am very very glad this blog exists, but I still can’t help but hope I never have to post here again. It’s a sickening thing to know that people are making money off of your designs and ideas when those very ideas are the only things an artist can really own.

I and some very nice friends of mine have been contacting Forever 21 and requesting that they stop selling the shirt and respond to my Cease and Desist emails, if you feel like contacting them, please do:

[email protected]

http://www.forever21.com/customerservice/customerservice.asp?content=contact_comments

[email protected]

The CEO Don Chang:

[email protected]

I haven’t gotten any response yet, but others have, which is usually how it goes. Please help protect artist’s rights and tell them how you feel about art theft.

Thanks,

Jess Fink

32 comments

  • You might have better luck with snail mail. It makes it look more “professional”, and is likely to be treated more seriously than an e-mail.

  • Dude, first lemme say AWESOME design. I remember when Turk wore it on Scrubs. ;) Anyway, get a lawyer, sue for punitive damages since they’ve clearly done this before.

  • Definitely a rip, but the forever 21 is executed better. The colors, type treatments, and handling of the lines make it warmer and more retro feeling.

  • Damned if it were not true, but Forever 21 has an ad in the google ads for this page.

    This kind of thing drives me crazy. It is criminal! It takes away somebody’s idea, design, time and effort and their ability to do make a living. Big companies cannot not just take independent artist’s work with out credit or compensation. We have laws! This is 99.5% rip! The only thing worse would be actually taking the art itself.

  • Wow, man hands, what a douchey thing to say.

    Jess, I will definitely be writing to the folks at Forever 21 (pathetic shit store) and advising them that nobody wants to have a rep as being the new Urban Outfitters of copyright infringement. Assweeds!

    Best of luck with this.

    Tom

  • Wow, the second I saw this it reminded me of the soap artwork. Is it just me or does the rip-off’s cookie look more like ground beef then a cookie…?

  • @ TOM

    GTFO. If people cant take artistic criticism, than dont post on the world wide web. I cant stand it when artists get their feelings hurt because they dont get 100% positive feedback on a design that leaves much room for improvement. Lay off the pen tool in illustrator, jeez. And thanks for signing your post at the end; having your name in bold at the top of the post wasnt obvious enough for me.

  • @man hands

    This isn’t about who did the design better, it’s about the fact that it’s an obvious rip. Leave the criticism for art sites.

  • That sucks, dude. I went through similar stuff with some douches (Brinca) who sold a rip of my design to Urban Outfitters last year. I hope you’re able to nail whoever stole your design.

    @man hands

    What einah said. This isn’t an art criticism site. And can you not see how telling everyone you prefer the rip-off artist’s rendition is a douche-bag thing to say?

    “Wow, that sucks your home was broken into and your couch was stolen. That couch was ugly by the way. And I’m a dick.”

  • ha ha ha ha. Dont by shitty furniture and I wont say anything about it.

  • It’s actually “buy” not “by” jackass. Let’s see how you deal with “constructive criticism”.

  • lol! that really put me in my place.

  • I love the original design — I bought it from Threadless, actually, and it’s one of my favorite shirts.

    I hope that you can get Forever 21 to cease and desist. Tacky.

  • Why care? It’s not as if you’re losing sales cash because of it. The way i understand threadless working is that you get the one off cash prize. You should be glad that there’s people out there that admire your work that they want to share ‘it’. Whether threadless get the profit shouldn’t be your bout, get *them* to deal with it.

  • wow, exact rip. the 2nd one sucks btw

  • @Dr. Who

    What are you talking about? Do you honestly believe what you’re saying? Even if he’s not losing money directly, someone else is profiting from his idea without credit or compensation. So, he is losing money because his idea is being sold by someone else that he does not have a contract with.

    Also, it’s not just about money. Would you want someone stealing your idea to make their own money?

    “You should be glad someone out there admires your work and they want to share it.”

    That may be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard around here, and that’s saying something. You’re absolutely right, no one should care about theft. We should all just be glad that someone admires our work enough to steal it and use it for their own profit.

  • Christ some dorks post on here, or maybe they just work for lame-ass Forever 21

  • Manhands, nothing you said in reply takes away the douche aspect of your comment. In fact, it makes it seem all the more douchey.

    Thanks for playing.

  • Agreed. Manhands, your first comment particularly reached a level of douchebaggery that is usually reserved only for vaginal irrigation.

  • I work at Forever 21. Our shirt looks better.. that’s all I have to say.

  • lol! I personally get off on people stealing from you so-called ‘artists’ and benefiting in ways that you never will with your crappy nickelodeon drawings! Oh man, what a bunch of whiny losers you are! That’s why you get your “work” stolen from you for moron teenagers to by from moron stores like Urban Outfitters!

    Idiots. You’ll never win.

  • i bought your amazing original tshirt long time ago, and i’m happy for that. fight for your design!

  • Your design blows. Hot Topic and Forever 21 are obviously better designers. Give it up. You lose.

  • Ignore the trolls. Your *original* design is lovely, and one of my favourite threadless t-shirts. Hope you get a good response from Forever 21 soon.

  • you were happy with a hot topic cease and desist? WTF? So if i wanted, I could constantly rip off your designs, make lots of money, and I will only get letters asking me nicely to stop? jesus. I’ll tell you why this keeps happening- because you let it.

  • Jessica, you are a turd of a human being. It’s OK to steal if you do it “better,” is that what you’re saying? I can only assume that you have never created anything in your life and never will. Even if you do, I’m sure someone else will take your idea and do it better. Good luck with your crummy existence.

  • I think I’m falling in love with man hands

  • Just kidding. You can copyright your artwork in bulk for $45. Go to copyright.gov

  • Ok, well good luck because as of now you’ll be on the waiting list for xxi legal issues. Last time I checked they were being sued by anna sui and other designers. Xxi is known for ripping off, (even if its cuter than the org) but I would have def taken the offer from hot topic. Sounds like it would have been rewarding.

  • But – isn’t your design heavily “inspired”, if not blatantly lifted, from the video for Blur’s song, “Coffee and TV”?! YouTube it.

  • Dan, you are such an asshat. You think it’s a ripoff simply because there’s a milk carton in the video? Do us all a favor and never speak again.

  • Well We Dont Know For Sure,,I Mean Its Not Exactly On The Same Place..And We Cant Just Jump To Conclusions..I As A Matter Of Fact Love Both Those Stores,My Sis Works At Forever,and I Think We Handling This A Bit Harshly..I KNow How It Feels But I Get Over It After Like 2 Days, Just Make Another Awesome Design Thatll Beat That Design He “Jocked” Off Of You (:

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