Artist Banksy urges people to steal from Guess clothing store | Popgen Tech


British street and performance artist Banksy is accusing clothing manufacturer Guess of stealing his work and is urging people to steal from the retailer’s Regent Street store in London.

“Attention all shoplifters,” Banksy wrote in a recent Instagram post. “Please go to Guess in Regent Street. They helped themselves to my pieces without asking how it could be wrong if you did the same to their clothes?”

Banksy, whose identity is unknown, claims the American clothing brand released a capsule collection of clothes featuring his designs, including the Flower Thrower motif, without his permission. Each item ranges in price from $47 to $319, according to a Guess press release.

Guess chief creative officer Paul Marciano said the collection “is a way for fashion to show its appreciation” to the artist.

The collection features Banksy’s iconic motifs on men’s, women’s and children’s pieces and is available for purchase online and in stores across the European Union. In a press release announcing the collection, Guess said it was “inspired by Banksy’s graffiti.”

To launch the collection, Guess has partnered with Brandalised, a licensing company that secures the rights to famous graffiti designs and sells them to fans through partnerships with commercial brands.

Neither company responded to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment.

On Tuesday, a sales clerk at the Guess store on Regent Street responded to erroneous reports that the retailer had temporarily closed its doors due to the Banksy dispute, saying “we’re open and we’ve never closed.”

Guess clothing has released a collection with iconic motifs on men’s, women’s and children’s products by the anonymous street artist Banksy. The artist claims that his designs are being used by an American clothing brand without his permission.

To guess

The right to remain anonymous

In 2020, the artist’s application to trademark “Flower Thrower” was rejected by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) because he had to reveal his undisclosed identity to secure copyright.

But EUIPO’s 2021 ruling invalidating Banky’s trademark on a paint-painted chimpanzee with the words “Laugh now, but one day we will rule” was overturned this month by the European Board of Appeal, according to industry publication ArtNews.

Winning gives the artist the right to license their work while remaining anonymous.

It’s unclear whether Guess and Brandalised are authorized to sell clothing featuring Banksy’s designs, but the silence from both companies suggests they may not have a deal with the artist to license his work, according to William Miles, a UK-based copyright and trademark lawyer. .

“The fact that Banksy ordered people to steal from Guess stores and said they took his artwork shows that they had no right to license it,” Miles told CBS MoneyWatch. “It’s an amazing thing for Guess to do, knowing clearly that it’s going to generate a lot of publicity.”


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