Monday 30 September 2013

copy cats

a couple of weeks ago, i was getting my pinterest fix and i noticed someone i followed had pinned what looked like my 'bloomsbury' fabric that had been screen printed with mushrooms and cats on top, stitched together with what i thought were completely separate panels of striped fabric. on closer inspection, it wasn't my fabric at all, but a copy - a printed 'panel' fabric designed by mina koko for lecien fabrics in japan.

admittedly the flowers are ALL identical, but many of them are direct copies of mine
and the others are very definitely 'in the style of'!
oh, and mine is on the left! click on photo to make bigger.
if you follow me on instagram, you'll know this already, but i didn't make a massive fuss at the time despite my shock, because i felt lecien had the right to respond. well, i got in touch some weeks ago now and have emailed twice and it appears that either the email address i've got is redundant, or they are ignoring me. i know absolutely nothing about the designer of mina koko, in fact, very little info seems to be on google about them/her/him at all. lecien do have a twitter account, but it's rarely used and the only contact on their website is a contact form. i've searched high and low but mina koko don't appear to do social media at all. if anyone has any contact information for either lecien or mina koko, i'd be hugely appreciative!

in a way i guess it's flattering, and at the time i was hugely gobsmacked/angry/gutted/disappointed/hurt but i've had plenty of time to clam down but a little part of me is still rather outraged. i know that i'm only a little ol' designer, but seriously, if there's one thing i've learnt over the last few years is that the quilting world is minuscule - how on earth did they think it would go unnoticed???! moda say they will back me if needs be, and that this sort of thing happens more often than you'd think.

if you're interested, click through to the lecien website and see the other colourways (click on the cat closeup thumbnails) (sorry, you'll have to copy and paste, blogger's not letting me put in links today!)


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Michele T said...

I would be outraged!!! I hope you get this settled. ps I like your design much more than the print with red flowers splattered all over making it a bloody mess! The nerve of some people...

Unknown said...

Have you considered contacting another textile designer / quilter, who designs fabric for Lichen to ask them for contact info for the company - one I can think off is Natalie Lymer at Cinderberry Stitches and I know in the past that she has raised comments about 'copying' her stitchery designs....

lu summers said...

Hello Ethne,

Great idea about Natalie, thanks! I've been in contact with Sarah Fileke, she have me the original email address. I'll see if Natalie has any other contact email for Lecien too.

pennydog said...

I'm glad you're not letting it rest, little designers get ripped off all the time, Hide n Seek vs Paperchase springs to mind and there was one against Topshop (might have been Gemma Correll the Pugs not Drugs illustration girl). Since Lecien have the same target market as Moda I find this a bit brazen! Good luck!

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

Shocking behaviour. Moda NEEDS to pursue this on your behalf as THEY will miss out on sales of YOUR fabric, surely??? I would be livid! Good luck girl!

Isisjem said...

I would be pissed off too. There is a difference between being 'inspired' by something and just ripping off the whole design. This has happened a lot in the world of illustration the likes of Hidenseek just wasn't able to take on Paperchase when one of their designs was spookily similar to her work. Maybe it's flattering when it's an individual doing something just for themselves but once it turns commercial it's just out and out theft.

heart of charnwood said...

You're right to be incensed, keep chasing after them, and hopefully something will come of it, you're entitled to expect your designs aren't blatantly ripped off, and this is blatant!

Katy Cameron said...

I have to say the one on the right is hideous! Good luck with the fight!

The Rainbow Room said...

Know how you feel, I've seen my stuff in on Alibaba and a South African company called snog the frog, both using my photos and descriptions to sell a copy of my work. It's hard for little people to fight these copycats : (

Elsa said...

I'd say that IS a direct copy of your work. Go for them and don't let them get away with stealing because that's what it is.
I think I heard that this has happened to someone else in the fabric design world ~ and Leicen being the culprit.
Sorry this happened to you. Darn it anyway.

diegoagogo said...

It is interesting to note the very slight changes that have been made to give the appearance of difference. Where I think they shoot themselves in the foot with this plan is that it shows that they were intending to copy but make enough changes to be able to say "oh no, it's my own design/it's an interpretation". Arsehats!!
I hope that you absolutely go for the throat!! This is completely unacceptable & I hope Moda will offer more than support, maybe a legal team??
If you need us to storm someone with emails, let us know.
Or if you want to just rant then move on & chalk it up to experience, that's good too.
Much love
Worthing, UK

Mrs Flying Blind... said...


Jesse said...

Oh, that's maddening! I hope you do manage to get in touch with someone.

RobynK said...

I am appalled at what has happened to you. I have heard of it happening but not so blatantly!
I hope Moda backs their designers as these people are indeed breaking the legal law and the moral one.
BTW saw you Porthole Quilt on Pinterest. Awesome. Would love some of your skills here "down under".
New Zealand

Crystal Stanworth said...

wow. that's horrible. they took your perfectly beautiful fabric and made it ugly. I would be livid too. I just had someone rip off my Swirled Christmas Tree design and am in the process of trying to figure out how to stop them. The internet lets people hide behind anonymity and it's really scary as a designer!