On Thursday, when I was scheduling some Illinois news links for Friday posting, I had no idea that one of the stories was erupting nationally on twitter. Chicago artist Stevie Koerner complained on Wednesday about Urban Outfitters stealing the design of one of her jewelry lines. Not only did UO rip-off the design, they lifted the name of the line and even some of her ad copy.
According to Ms. Koerner, this is not the first time Urban Outfitters has copied the designs of independent artists trying to make a living. How do these people sleep at night?
Anyway, the story quickly picked up steam, and Urban Outfitters was given a richly deserved, electronic drubbing.
The company responded by removing the stolen design from their catalogue.
The negative publicity also revived an old controversy. The billionaire president of Urban Outfitters, Richard Hayne, was a supporter of radical, anti-gay, former senator Rick Santorum--a revelation that was not well-received by the customer base UO actively courts (scroll down this post at the UO "blog").
All in all, it's been a very bad end to the week for Urban Outfitters, but the week ended very well for Ms. Koerner. She reports that she has been overwhelmed with support and orders for her merchandise.
More on the twitter eruption here.