Popular indie artist Tuesday Bassen, known for her whimsical designs and illustrations, took to Twitter yesterday to claim that Zara had stolen her artwork, sans attribution or compensation.
In a series of tweets, the L.A.-based artist shares images comparing her artwork with that of Zara’s and a note her lawyer received from the global retailer, in essence stating she has no basis to make the claim due to her status as a small independent artist. The images depict patches used to sew onto clothing, with little to no change in the design between Bassen’s work and Zara’s products.
Fellow artists and fans reached out in an outpouring of support for the artist, retweeting her with captions like “This is garbage” and “Zara over here stealing like Melania” in reference to Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday that borrowed liberally from a previous speech by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Zara, which did not return calls for this article, is standing its ground.
“We reject your claims here for reasons similar to those already stated above: the lack of distinctiveness of your client’s purported designs makes it very hard to see how a significant part of the population anywhere in the world would associate the signs with Tuesday Bassen,” the retailer’s letter to Bassen reads.
In subsequent tweets, Bassen shares that she plans to press charges, though notes that just to work with her lawyer to correspond at a base level with Zara cost her $2,000. Bassen, whose attributed work has also appeared in Urban Outfitters, Adidas and The New Yorker, was not available for an additional comment at the time of writing.
“I want to point out that most artists don’t even get this far,” Bassen wrote online. “The ‘luxury’ of spending $2k for a lawyer to write a letter is something most artists cannot afford. This is for me and this is for every single artist that can’t do anything.”