Time for Fast F.A.D.

Source: The Guardian, Feb 2011

One of the world’s largest fashion retailers which owns Zara stores and several other global chains has withdrawn a series of T-shirts from its shops after bloggers complained the company was copying their photographs from the internet.

The T-shirts were removed from the Inditex group’s Stradivarius stores after complaints from teenage fashion and style bloggers who said the company was using the photographs they posted of themselves on their sites. The striking similarity between the T-shirt pictures and those on sites run by 19-year-old Swiss fashion blogger Michèle K and France’s Louise Ebel left the Spanish company unable to deny the allegations.

Inditex is run by the world’s ninth richest man, Spaniard Amancio Ortega. The company has a reputation for turning out a vast number of designs every year, and has often been accused of basing some of them on work by famous designers seen on the fashion world’s catwalks. It is not the first time that Inditex chains have been accused of copying from bloggers.

“Someone in the fashion sector who prefers not to give their name thinks that the hundreds of designers on the Inditex payroll are obliged to turn out a certain number of designs a day,” said Delia Rodríguez , a blogger at El País who spotted the latest bunch of blogger-copied designs.

“Sometimes they can do that easily, but other times they cut and paste because they have to finish the job in a rush. They look for a good image online, turn it into a design and try to disguise it a little,” she added. “No one asks questions as long as targets are met.”

Zara is famous for its rapid turnaround of fresh designs, designed to make its stores always full of new clothes. Zara alone produces 40,000 designs a year.

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