Today is international Intellectual Property Day and whoa, have we got a story for it?!
When I proclaimed the international #XhosaMoment in February, I had referenced the alleged superpowers of the MaXhosa socks specifically… Turns out, fast fashion
snitches research departments were listening. Fast forward to these socks setting off one of the most blatant IP violation cases in recent fashion history!
On April 23, Laduma shared an image of socks stocked by ZARA. Within hours, the obvious copy-paste rip-off made it into industry watchdog’s @diet_prada stories and into a proper lawsuit. Online outrage was swift and Zara has reportedly pulled the socks from its merchandise lineup. Zara. Pulled. Socks. [Knee slap]. The official statement read: “Inditex, the parent company of Zara, has the utmost respect for individual creativity and blah blah blah…” It is more likely that Inditex has (not) learned from an earlier retail fiasco of their competitor H&M which was forced to shut down in South Africa during the Monkeygate protests in January. Steal a sock, loose a store?! MaXhosa got ’em magic powers after all! Zara has no production facilities in South Africa. Thus, the move by its “creative department” follows the historic Western European “business model”: take what you want from the colonies, sell it back at a profit, feign incredulity and/or cite concerns for preservation of heritage if confronted. The tide is turning. The Xhosa Moment reigns on.
This legal win for Laduma (and a massive compen$ation, I hope) comes on the heels of a very busy season for the designer. After the Luxury Connect Africa event in Paris (where I had the utmost privilege to interview him during a panel discussion) he rocked the annual Proudly South African Buy Local trade show and represented his nation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Russia (where he had the utmost misfortune of getting detained in Red Square for sightseeing while African). Check out the fall-winter 2018 collection off the Moscow runway and buy those supersocks already!!!
Cover image originally appears at According to Jerri (C) 2015