Friday, March 14, 2014

Land of Nod and a Happy Ending

It's nice to find happy ending stories, and this seems to be one of them! I saw an instagram post (I was a little late to seeing it, it was posted 6 weeks ago!) about a design in the Land of Nod catalog that was beyond close to a block printed design by textile designer Blake Kahan.

The first image is a screenshot of the initial conversation about the design on Instagram. The middle pic is a product shot from etsy shop Willow Ship and the third is the Land of Nod rug. The "irregularities" of the pattern look fairly specific to Blake's original carving.

Interestingly, I looked for the design on the Land of Nod site and it now credits her as the designer! I'm assuming that means proper payment through licensing, which Land of Nod has a pretty good record of doing. According to their site:
"You could put your Gold Bars Rug in a vault for safekeeping. But you should probably put it on your floor and enjoy its 100% wool softness and bold chevron pattern. It was designed just for us by Blake Kahan."
Hooray for happy endings and artists being able to own their own designs!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NY NOW Market told Abigail Brown "too bad" about her ripped off design, despite the evidence against the poor behavior of Cody Foster.

Dear Abigail:

My name is Scott Kramer, sales directory of NY NOW. Your email has been forwarded to me and I appreciate that you took the time to write us.

The gift industry, along with many industries, is faced with companies working with other’s ideas and designs. I can understand the frustration that you must feel as an artist. This is however a difficult situation for us in that as a show management company we aren’t able to adjudicate these issues. We wouldn’t be within our legal rights to stop them from exhibiting. You could go through our legal system and attempt to stop them from producing any of your designs.

I wish you luck with this and hope you can reach a favorable conclusion.


Scott W Kramer | Sales Director | NY NOW® - LIFESTYLE & NEW!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fast fashion faux pas

Want to know how cheap, fashionable clothes originate? Take 2 minutes and watch this:
Created by

The process of fast fashion generally bypasses true, original designers and neglects to maintain artistic integrity. More and more often independent designers find their products ripped off and for sale in big box stores without their consent or knowledge.

Don't believe me? Just ask Shannon Kennedy of Sass & Peril. Her Instagram tells the whole story

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Doug Johnston

Not so long ago I pinned some images of baskets, simple in concept, but with a surprisingly fresh and new approach that made them modern and unique. Those baskets were (and are) made by Doug Johnston. Not only are they visually stimulating, the description of the process of making, the evolution of form, and the studies behind the product make the objects that much more fascinating.

From Doug Johnston's website/portfolio:

sash cord studies | 2010 - present
cotton or poly sash cord and polyester thread / dimensions variable
A selection of bags, baskets and sculptural vessels based on these studies is available for purchase in [Johnston's]  webshop
Vessels, masks and sculptural pieces utilize an old crafting technique in which rope or cord is coiled and stitched to forms bowls and baskets. The technique is itself based on the ancient method of making ceramic coiled pots as well as coiled basketry. The method explores ways of transforming a linear material into three-dimensional objects, an interest I have also studied in other materials such as yarn or plastic tubing. I also see the process as a form of analog 3D printing/prototyping performed by a sewing machine and with much less precision. In this way the "3D file" is in my head as I begin each piece and its formation happens by making certain adjustments to the work while sewing. The process has its own limitations, largely determined by the sewing machine, and each piece takes on deformations and glitches that give it unique personality.

The studies use the raw 100% cotton braided cord, often called sash cord, and colored sewing thread. They are individually sewn on an industrial zig-zag sewing machine without the use of forms or molds and allow me to explore ideas for larger works such as Rumpleskillskid.

Not too long after seeing and pinning Johnston's work, I saw a tweet about identical, but mass made, baskets, now available at Target, a corporation known for copycat behavior.

Then today a shop was featured on the etsy front page with product photography and descriptive language eerily similar to Johnston's own.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jessica Nichols' Loads of Ranunculus

Recently Chris Benz used Jessica Nichols' Loads of Ranunculus photograph without her permission and without compensation on his Spring 2012 line, including a promotional item in partnership with Lancome.

In case you're not on top of fashion designers (I, for one, am not) here's a bit more about Mr. Benz.

Not sold that this is infringement? Read Jessica's full post here, with a follow up here. Huffington Post reported on this instance as well.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rachael Taylor vs. Marks & Spencer

Another case of corporations stealing independent designer's wares: Marks & Spencer in the UK. Rachael Taylor found one of her patterns on Marks & Spencer t-shirts, unlicensed of course. From her blog,
My 'Etched Floral' design has been a key print for my brand & has been sold successfully on my own branded products along with achieving international success as a licensed design throughout the UK, Europe & the USA.

Read more here and if you're interested in urging Marks & Spencer to come clean and play fair, contact them on Facebook, Twitter, or one of the good ol' fashioned ways.