Zara has recently come under criticism for its latest men’s sock collection which features prints that appear to be exact same copies of those used by South African brand MaXhosa by Laduma.
The design looks a lot like the signature patterns used by the designer Laduma Ngxokolo.
Laduma who was interviewed by Eyewitness News said that the atrocity was first brought to his attention this earlier this month when patrons spotted and sent him images from the Zara Sandton City and New York stores.
“The first thought was that it lacked integrity as they did not even modify the patterns, they had copied straight from patterns I had used for my collections, most notably the Khanyisa cardigan,” he says.
According to a message posted by Ngxokolo to MaXhosa’s official website, he has opted to take legal action against Zara. The press release according to Okay Africa reads:
“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.”
Zara has since taken the liberty to remove 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.