South African Designer Calls Out Zara For Copying.

Maxhosa Zara

Zara has come under fire for its latest men’s sock collection, which features prints that appear to be exact copies of those used by South African brand MaXhosa by Laduma.

Created by designer Laduma Ngxokolo, MaXhosa is of South Africa’s most popular international fashion brands and has even been worn by Beyoncé.

According to a message posted by Ngxokolo to MaXhosa’s official website, he has opted to take legal action against Zara.

“Earlier this month (April 2018), we were alerted by our patrons, that ZARA ( INDUSTRIA DE DISEÑO TEXTILE, S.A. (INDITEX S.A. Pty Ltd) company has copied one of our signature patterns. These patterns were appropriated & reproduced in as part of their sock range which they shared as new in their best-sellers on their online store,” the press release read, according to Okay Africa.

“We consulted with Shane Moore and Muhammad Patel from Moore Attorneys, one of Africa’s leading IP law firms who are handling the matter on our behalf. They have since sent a letter to the parent company alerting them of the copyright infringement and our demands. We have taken such steps so as to avoid our works being appropriated and adapted without our consent or permission. Copyright infringement is a matter that we take seriously and fully aware of our intellectual property rights. We would like to thank the clients who have silently sent us proof of such infringements as they allowed us means to act. The debate as to whether we shall win the case or not remains, we stand by our decision to fight such a case. Thus, we have sent our letter of demand and we await their reply.”

Ngxokolo also posted pictures of his designs featuring the print in question.

Zara has since responded by removing the printed socks from all of its stores. According to a Zara rep, this action was taken “as a preventative action, the process to immediately remove this item both from stores and online was activated at the moment this situation was brought to our attention.”

Zara also added that it would be in contact with Ngxokolo, who says that he will no longer shop at Zara.

“I’ve had a few copyright infringement cases in the past, and won majority of them, but Zara took this one to great extremes. My lawyers are dealing with this matter, fully understanding that this is Zara’s business model, regardless of such we will enforce our entitlement of laying criminal charges under the SA Copyright Act, 98,” he wrote in an Instagram post.