You know we’re always rooting for the underdog and although dogs don’t wear socks these cool dogs might just have their day. We just got hound lost in bad metaphors. So how’s about we get straight to the point?!
South African luxury design brand MaXhosa by Laduma known for their knitwear range inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork announced through a Press Release today that they have decided to take legal action against Spanish Retail giant ZARA. If you weren’t paying attention, the Spanish Retail giant pulled a bit of a bad copy and paste attempt with one of the signature MaXhosa designs from a distinct line which was launched in the 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg.
In the statement MaXhosa say ZARA appropriated and reproduced the patterns as part of their sock range which are listed as new in their best-sellers on their online store.
It all started with some tweets and messages from some loyal MaXhosa customers and fans who couldn’t shake the ressemblance off. Well it would be hard to forget, the cardigan is still sold online and has been on runways globally, not to mention has been worn by numerous celebrities such as Alicia Keys.
“We would like to thank the clients who have silently sent us proof of such infringements as they allowed us means to act.”- MaXhosa Statement
In their statement the MaXhosa team highlighted that they were ready to take this to the streets…ehem courts and would not be taking the Copyright infringement from ZARA lying down.
“We consulted with Shane Moore and Muhammad Patel from Moore Attorneys, one of Africa’s leading IP law firms who are handling the matter on our behalf. They have since sent a letter to the parent company alerting them of the copyright infringement and our demands” said the statement
MaXhosa by Laduma knitwear started in 2010 with Laduma Ngxokolo’s desire to explore knitwear design solutions that would be suitable for amakrwala (Xhosa initiates). The design house has had their work strutted across countless catwalks and have won numerous awards, more recently and almost ironically the Pride of Africa: Africa Fashion Week Barcelona Awards in, you guessed it Spain, just last year.
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) April 24, 2018
Perhaps the most shocking bit of this incident is not just that a global brand as massive as ZARA tried to cop a design from 10 seasons + ago BUT… the arrogance of shamelessly appropriating an African concept for capital gain without the consideration of ever getting caught or reprimanded.
Although the likelihood of MaXhosa winnin this legal battle may seem dismal, the public uproar from South African influencers and patrons alone might do the trick.
“The debate as to whether we shall win the case or not remains, we stand by our decision to fight such a case.” – MaXhosa Statement
If ZARA gets past MaXhosa they might have a whole government against them meaning this ‘little’ problem might not disappear as swiftly as they’d like. South African Government’s ‘Buy Local’ body, Proudly SA released a statement in full support of MaXhosa and in the same amount of rebuke for ZARA which we translated to…
“ZARA, ya’ll don’t even produce your stuff locally the least you could do is give our designers some respek mos! Mxm!”
The actual statement was released on Twitter late today on the Proudly SA Account.
Naturally this wouldn’t be the least recent legal tussle ZARA had gotten itself into. In their free time the giant seems to enjoy bankrupting single mums on naming rights that don’t even relate to clothing or retail. SMH!
Death to Capitalism grrrrr!