Is there anything new under the sun? The question comes to mind after popular Indonesian fashion brand Erigo recently came under fire for allegedly stealing an artwork and using it on one of their best-selling products.
The whole thing surfaced after Polish freelance artist Nora Potwora took to Twitter yesterday to claim that Erigo used her hibiscus tiger graphic print on one of their jackets. Potwora added that Erigo did so without permission and that the brand had been ignoring her inquiries.
https://t.co/BTWc82au7e @erigostore thought that breaking #copyright and taking someone's art without permission is great way to make your products, so we have jacket with my hibiscus tiger now. Cool, right? Not for me, they keep ignoring my comments. #artthef pic.twitter.com/PSCVpDfAw9
— Nora Potwora (@NoraPotwora) January 21, 2020
It didn’t take very long for Potwora’s tweet to take off among Indonesian netizens, many of whom replied to the tweet to sympathize with the designer and expressing support for her should she decide to file a sue Erigo.
Hours after the tweet was posted, Erigo released an official statement via Instagram explaining their side of the story. The post includes screenshots of conversations with an outsourced freelance artist who goes by the name Yudhistiart. Erigo claims that neither they nor Yudhistiart had checked the originality of the work in question, which was submitted by one of Yudhistiart’s assistants.
View this post on Instagram
Have a good day. As what we understand and we already acknowledged this unwanted event to happen. We would like to apologize especially to @norapotwora for this inconvenience. We would like to take a full responsibility of it. The design was given to us by one of our out-house freelance @yudhistiart. We have been working together since 2017 for Sukajan project and we acknowledge him as a great Sukajan illustrator. He also sells his own Sukajan brand @zeotic_syztem. That is the reason why we work together because we want the best quality for our Sukajan project and product. Unfortunatly for our recent project with Yudhistiart, one of the Sukajan design according to him was made by one of his assistant which what we understand it is belong to Nora Potwora (@norapotwora). We also understand that we and Yudhistiart did not do the re-check for the originality of this one. We already reached to Nora Porwora and we already explain to her that we will take a full responsibility for this inconvenience. We would like to give her a full right for her artwork. We also very understand that appreciating an artwork is VERY IMPORTANT. Once again we would like to apologize for these inconveniences and for those who affects by it. Sincerely, Erigostore.
“We already reached to Nora Potwora and we already explain to her that we will take a full responsibility for this inconvenience. We would like to give her a full right for her artwork,” Erigo wrote in the caption.
In a separate statement uploaded on Instagram, Yudhistiart acknowledged his own negligence for not checking the originality of the design.
It appears that both parties have reached an agreement, as Nora tweeted earlier today that Erigo has agreed to pay her for the design.
Seems like I and @erigostore came to an agreement and they're going to pay compensation. I will inform you how things went, for now it looks like they want to take responsibility. https://t.co/frSEe0B5Ph
— Nora Potwora (@NoraPotwora) January 22, 2020
Erigo also tweeted that the sales of the jacket has suspended until the case is settled.
The tiger jacket at the center of this dispute is part of Erigo’s sukajan collection — popularly known as souvenir jackets with origins dating back to post-World War 2 Japan. Sukajan is inspired by American-style teddy and varsity jackets, usually adorned with Japanese illustrations of animals or mythical creatures. The jacket has been a popular fashion item in recent years (thanks in no small part to Ryan Gosling’s iconic white sukajan in Drive) and it’s also hugely popular among the stylish crowd in Indonesia.