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Artist finds their work on Shirt

Imagine you go on a trip to New York to visit some friends on the east coast.   On that trip you venture into a Paul Smith store.   (Whatever that is.   Apparently some sort of well known fashion designer or something.)   You find a shirt that looks pretty similar to your own work that you publish on the web, and one of your friends even tells you that it reminds them of your work.

Okay, so all of this actually happened to this guy.

“Oh my god oh my god oh my god…”

“What? What is it?”

“I think Paul Smith stole my work!”

I pointed out the detail to Lance who confirmed my suspicion. The more we looked, the more the neighboring details fell into place. Smith’s version was mirrored left to right so I loaded the image in Photoshop and flipped it. “Oh my god! He totally stole my work!” I was dancing around the room. “Paul Smith stole from me!” I will admit it was a strange reaction. I didn’t realize this until later in the day. I was actually thrilled that someone had ripped me off. Someone I liked. That sincerest form of flattery bit doesn’t mean much if the person doing the imitating is making shit work.

“We have to go back!”


“I have to buy it and I want to take better pictures so I can be sure.”

Here's the side by side comparison of the shirt and the artwork:

If you look closely, you can see that all the details line up almost exactly.   The shirt itself has the image flipped horizontally though, so if you look at the more distinct bird down a little ways from the highlighted box you can match it on the left side underneath the box again, but flipped horizontally.   This guy seems to have a pretty positive reaction to having his design ripped and put on a 235 dollar shirt, I'm not so sure if others would have the same positive attitude.

Hopefully this guy gets some sort of response from the folks at the Paul Smith organization.   I would love to hear their side of the story.   I guess making super expensive clothes just involves google image search and good ole copy and paste.
Tagged: internet misc
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