Spanish high street giant ZARA has removed a hoodie from sale after being accused of plagiarising a T-shirt design by London record label and DJ collective SlothBoogie.
The ZARA children's hoodie (pictured above) depicts characters on its back that bear a striking resemblance to the label's popular 'Dancing With Friends' imagery (also pictured), which has appeared on their t-shirts, mugs, sweaters and totes since 2020. Melbourne artist Steve Gavan, who came up with the original design for SlothBoogie's 10th anniversary compilation, made the crew aware of the alleged plagiarism on Sunday, 11th September.
Since SlothBoogie went public about the situation, ZARA has removed the item from its website. "The company have sent urgent requests internally to take all the stock out of the shops and send them back to headquarters," wrote SlothBoogie in an Instagram story shared on Monday evening.
SlothBoogie also pointed out the "gaul" of ZARA to include the words 'Support Local Parties' on its design while simultaneously "ripping off local parties".
"There's no allusion to where it's come from or the concept behind it," SlothBoogie told Resident Advisor earlier this week. "It's just very weird. It's like someone has seen the design, maybe sent it to a designer externally to mimic and the mimicking didn't go far enough."
According to Resident Advisor's report, SlothBoogie hope to pursue the possibility of getting compensation for Gavan, and for all sales from the hoodie to be donated to a charity helping refugee children.
Speaking to DJ Mag today, 15th September, SlothBoogie said they have been in communication with lawyers engaged with ZARA, who have allegedly said that "their client takes claims of intellectual property infringement seriously and are making relevant enquiries to deal with the matter." ZARA's legal representatives allegedly concluded their email by stating: "There is no admission to be implied from the content of this email or otherwise as to the validity of your claimed rights or of any infringement thereof."
"The whole situation is very bizarre," SlothBoogie said. "It felt quite jarring reading this article in The Guardian this morning about how they're enjoying surging sales and then hearing from people who've been in touch about how they have ripped designers off. So I guess we'll find out soon if they actually do want to 'Support Local Parties' like their shirt proclaims or if they're going to bury us."
DJ Mag has approached ZARA for comment.