By Carolyn Maguire
Urban Outfitters is widely regarded for its original merchandise and unique styles. However, Stevie Koerner, an independent jeweler who sells her work on etsy.com, would probably beg to differ. Recently, the jeweler accused Urban of copying her “United States of Love” necklace designs, which feature charms shaped like states with cutout hearts.
But what is more disheartening is Urban Outfitters’ response to the situation. Urban Outfitter's reaction demonstrates that it not only lacks the creativity to make its own products, but also lacks the maturity to admit its wrongdoings.
Urban Outfitters is creating a new trend– not a clothing trend, but rather a trend of stealing independent artists’ works. This is not the first time that Urban Outfitters has been accused of copying designs. Stevie Koerner joins Lillian Crowe, Crownfarmer and Johnny Cupcakes are artists whose ideas have been allegedly stolen, reproduced and sold by Urban Outfitters.
According to ycharts.com, Urban Outfitters is a 4.84 billion-dollar corporation. Although Urban Outfitters has enough money to pay independent artists for their designs, the corporation decides to steal them and sell them as its own. In doing so, it robs these designers of the income that they cannot afford to lose. If Urban Outfitters were to buy the designs both the designer and the corporation would profit.
Throughout the allegations, Urban Outfitters has done nothing more than try to shift the blame to Stevie Koerner. In Urban Outfitter’s official response to the rumors it said, “the idea [for the necklaces] is not unique to Koerner and she can in no way claim to be its originator,” according to blog.urbanoutfitters.com.
Urban Outfitters had the opportunity to fix the mistake it made. It could have helped Koerner’s career, but instead it chose to play the blame game. Urban Outfitters foolishly expects the world to believe that a company that prides itself in originality coincidentally has the same necklace line as an independent designer.