News & Runway

Two More Artists Accuse Gucci of Copying Their Designs

The Gucci Resort 2018 graphics in question; Images: Pietro D'Aprano/Getty Images

The Gucci Resort 2018 graphics in question; Images: Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images

Two months after Central Saint Martins student Pierre-Louis Auvray accused Gucci’s creative director of plagiarizing the concept for the Italian fashion house’s alien-filled Fall 2017 campaign and mere weeks after industry insiders noticed a very distinct — and troubling — similarity between a puff-sleeved Gucci Resort 2018 jacket and one designed by Harlem couturier Daniel Day (a.k.a. Dapper Dan), Alessandro Michele is again under fire for (allegedly) stealing other designers’ work.

Per WWD, Bali-based New Zealand artist Stuart Smythe and Australian graphic designer and illustrator Milan Chagoury are claiming that Gucci stole their logos for its Resort 2018 collection. Both artists maintain that they’ve been trying to contact Gucci reps for weeks but to no avail.

Smythe claims ownership of the snake logo featured on the “Guccify yourself” tee worn by several models throughout the show and the creative director himself during the finale. True, this is far from the first time Michele has decorated his wares with a snake motif. However, the tee in question doesn’t bear the brand’s typical creeping scarlet kingsnake. See below.

Iv kept this quite for a little while, But its time to speak up and get some attention. Its pretty easy to see that @gucci Has copied not only the combination of elements together that create this logo, but when I overlay my snake illustration on top of the copy, the scales even line up perfectly. Its easy to prove and see whats going on here. Its a shame large corporations “Take” What belongs to us indie artists and use it for their own profit margins. It actually makes me laugh that @lallo25 has so much press wearing this teeshirt around. And the other thing is the tails of the snake don’t even connect to anything after they flipped the top half hahaha..! GOLD! #alessandromichele #guccicruise18 #gucci #guccified #copydesign #stuartsmythe #arttheft

A post shared by Stuart Smythe (@stuartsmythe) on

In an Instagram post from five days ago, Smythe points out the (striking, we have to admit) similarity between Gucci’s emblem and a logo he created for his clothing brand CLVL Apparel Co. Though the brand has yet to launch, Smythe copyrighted his design back in 2014. In his caption, Smythe wrote that Gucci “has copied not only the combination of elements together that create this logo, but when I overlay my snake illustration on top of the copy, the scales even line up perfectly.” Other obvious similarities include the lightning bolts issuing from the snake’s mouth and the white spot in the upper-left corner of the letter R. “It’s a shame large corporations ‘take’ what belongs to us indie artists and use it for their own profit margins,” Smythe remarked. 

Milan Chagoury, a graphic designer and freelance illustrator who designs for Australian label Stay Bold, alleges that Gucci took it upon itself to “guccify” a tiger logo he designed for a local tattoo parlor, White Tiger Tattoo Co., back in 2015. Chagoury holds that the tote bag from the Gucci Resort 2018 collection that reads “Soave Amore Guccification” is a blatant rip-off of his design. Though the tote features a panther as opposed to a striped tiger, its font and composition are undeniably similar. 

On June 13, Chagoury took to Instagram to alert his fans of the alleged theft. “It’s ok to be inspired, but there are an infinite ways of representing a concept and being original is a key way of standing out in this business,” he wrote in the caption. (Meanwhile, Gucci’s Instagram post showing the bag has been bombarded with negative comments such as, “Blatant theft here, poor form Gucci.”)

Image: @gucci

Image: @gucci

A Gucci rep gave the following statement to WWD: “The Gucci Cruise 2018 collection saw a continuation of Alessandro Michele’s exploration of faux-real culture with a series of pieces playing on the Gucci logo, under the themes of ‘Guccification’ and ‘Guccify Yourself.’ A creative exchange with street style and street vernacular using graphics and words that have been ‘Guccified.’ In the last two-and-a-half years Gucci has defined itself through a series of creative collaborations that have arisen organically, symbolizing a generational shift. Also in this instance, we are now in direct contact with the respective talents.”

After WWD reached out to Gucci the Italian fashion house finally got in touch with the artists, proposing “the possibility of a future collaboration” if they agreed to sign an NDA. Both scoffed at the offer and are in the midst of pursuing legal action.

“I’m not interested after what’s happened,” Chagoury told WWD. “They didn’t respond to me for weeks. This is them covering [up] a massive wrongdoing in the art and design community and in the fashion industry full stop.”

Smythe echoed his sentiments: “They’re meant to be the most creative, they set the level that everyone else looks at. If they’d approached me earlier with a number then sure, I would have thought about selling my design. But now [I don’t like] the way they’ve gone about it. They’re not going to credit me as a designer for Gucci.”

According to Smythe’s lawyer, Texas-based attorney Tyler Branson, the indie artist is in a strong position because the logo in question is tied into his brand identity. “Gucci should not be allowed to take away somebody else’s corporate identity or somebody else’s artistic identity for their own gain and not have any repercussions for doing that,” Branson told the publication.

We’ll update this post as more information becomes available.

[ via WWD ]