Urban Outfitters is Ripping Off Designs … Again

Urban Outfitters is known for its hipster clothing and free-spirited attitude, but they're starting to get a reputation for something else … ripping off other designers' work.

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Yesterday, the company pulled a necklace from their website after designer Elena Coleman of TOMTOM Jewelry accused them of copying one of her designs via Twitter. TOMTOM's Future in Retrograde necklace and Urban's Sliced Triangle Necklace both feature triangular shaped stones with gold-ridged settings. After removing the necklace from their site, they reached out to Coleman with Urban explaining that the knockoff was purchased through a vendor and that they didn't know about the original TOMTOM necklace design. Urban went on to say in the email, "Please know that Urban Outfitters would never intentionally copy a designer's work. We work very hard to avoid situations such as this." But do they really?

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This isn't the first time UO has been accused of ripping off a designer's work. Just last year, the company starting selling an "I Heart Destination Necklaces" line, featuring individual states with cutout hearts. The designs looked identical to necklaces created by an Etsy seller. (That time, Urban didn't pull the necklace, saying the idea wasn't that original, and citing several other artists with similar designs.)

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Urban was also suspected of stealing a ribcage design necklace in 2010, and several T-shirt designs in 2006 and 2007. If Urban is serious about avoiding "situations such as this," why does it keep happening? Perhaps they should spend more time looking for similar designs before putting their wares up for sale. Or do you think they rip off knowingly, not expecting small designers to take issue? Leave your comments in the box below.

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