OPINION: Urban Outfitters Rips Off Artists


Jasmine Milliger, Let's Talk About Editor

In the Offensive Shirts Spark Outrage article published a month ago, Urban Outfitters (UO) was notably the most problematic company. Urban Outfitters had promoted distasteful and blatant messages and it’s hard to believe, yet again, they have managed to infuriate more people.

UO has a long history of stealing ideas from local designers with no credit. Around 2009, Urban Outfitters came out with a line of jewelry, “Waylaid”, featuring a golden rib cage that was – incidentally – just like Lillian Crowe’s independent design. And in 2011 the company ripped off a jewelry line by Stevie Koerner (for reference, this is Keorner’s line and this is UO’s). Not only did they steal the design idea, they also took the name “I heart destination”. In a more recent case, the company was also accused of stealing professional and personal art.

It’s depressing,” Erica Bradbury, a friend of Crowe said, “but inevitable that our designs will be ripped off because we’re both really creative.”

When Urban Outfitters steals art, they are ripping off artists. UO gives no credit or money to the people they steal from — not only gaining money off work that isn’t theirs but also eliminating any chance of the original creators seeing an
y of that money. Big companies (Urban Outfitters in particular) need to stop pirating creativity from others just because they don’t have any themselves. Evidently Richard Hayne, the President and CEO of Urban Outfitters, cannot grasp the concept that even small children understand — a lesson we teach to kids before many can even write their own names: Stealing is wrong.