Gucci hit yet another snag following ts 2018 cruise collection show earlier this month. The brand is once again forced to respond to allegations that it stole the work of other artists. As GCE previously reported, the brand has recently faced sweeping criticism for ripping-off a puff-sleeve bomber jacket designed by Harlem-based tailor, Dapper Dan. Accusations have also loomed over whether the house plagiarized the work of a London design school student for its alien video series. The big brand’s copying controversy continues with two separate artists this week claiming that Gucci copied their designs in its 2018 campaign.
On Wednesday, WWD reported that New Zealand artist Stuart Smythe and Australian self-taught graphic designer and freelance illustrator Milan Chagoury claim that Gucci used their designs on the brand’s t-shirt and tote.
The t-shirt — worn by several models in the 2018 cruise collection show and by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, himself during the show’s finale — is white and bears the graphic of a snake design and large bold type reading “Guccify yourself.” Smythe says that Gucci copied a logo he designed in 2014 for his yet-to-launch clothing brand. The artist posted a comparison of the two images on his Instagram page writing, “Gucci has copied not only the combination of elements together that create this logo, but when I overlay my snake illustration on top of the copy, the scales even line up perfectly.”
The Gucci tote features a graphic of a roaring panther standing atop a jagged rock encircled by two lines of large bold type reading “Guccificaton.” Chagoury contends that the tote features a copy of a logo he designed in 2015 for a tattoo parlor in Australia. WWD reported that he owns the design which features a striped tiger not a panther. Fashionista.com points out Chagoury’s Instagram testimonial where he wrote: “It’s ok to be inspired but there are an infinite ways of representing a concept and being original is a key way of standing out in this business.”
You know your doing something right when even @gucci rip your stuff. When designing for a business (band or brand) make sure you hire a professional designer as most of the time these guys are just ripping off someone else's work with no guilt at all. It's ok to be inspired but there are an infinite ways of representing a concept and being original is a key way of standing out in this business. #design #staybold #gucci #GucciCruise18
Declining to respond directly to the artists’s claims, Gucci told WWD:
“The Gucci cruise 2018 collection saw a continuation of Alessandro Michele’s exploration of faux-real culture with a series of pieces playing on the Gucci logo, under the themes of ‘Guccification’ and ‘Guccify Yourself.’ A creative exchange with street style and street vernacular using graphics and words that have been ‘Guccified.’ In the last two-and-a-half years Gucci has defined itself through a series of creative collaborations that have arisen organically, symbolizing a generational shift. Also in this instance, we are now in direct contact with the respective talents.”
Further, according to WWD, after the publication contacted the company about the allegations, Gucci contacted Smythe and Chagoury offering the possibility of a future collaboration conditioned on the designers signing a confidentiality agreement. Both say they turned Gucci down.
“I’m not interested after what’s happened,” said Chagoury. “They didn’t respond to me for weeks. This is them covering [up] a massive wrongdoing in the art and design community and in the fashion industry full stop.” Smythe said, “If they’d approached me earlier with a number then sure, I would have thought about selling my design. But now [I don’t like] the way they’ve gone about it. They’re not going to credit me as a designer for Gucci.”
As of Wednesday, the two artists were reportedly briefing their lawyers.