NEWSWATCH: Celebrated South African fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo, creator of the MaXhosa by Laduma brand, is taking legal action against Spanish fashion retailer Zara over an alleged case of copyright infringement.
MaXhosa versus Zara. Image credit: @thebeikalafeng/Instagram
Ngxokolo was alerted by fans to a pair of socks sold in a Zara store with a print bearing a striking resemblance to his traditional Xhosa-inspired designs.
"Their sock range resembles our Khanyisa Cardigan which was launched in March 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. The cardigan is still available on our online store and has been on runways globally, the piece is still one of our best sellers," states a press release on the MaXhosa by Laduma website
"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," it continued.
The designer took to Instagram stating that he and his lawyers will be laying criminal charges in line with the SA Copyright Act, 98. "I’ve had a few copyright infringement cases in the past, and won majority of them, but Zara took this one to great extremes."
Proudly South African came out in support of Ngxokolo, adding that Zara is one of the overseas retail chains upon whom the organisation continues to put pressure to procure locally manufactured garments.
"Currently 100% of their stock is made outside of South Africa. If other retailers can completely revise their percentage of local versus overseas goods, so can Zara. Given the level of support they receive from local South African consumers, it is their moral obligation to return some of their profits to local clothing and textile designers and manufacturers," Proudly SA stated in a press release on Twitter
Zara has since responded to the allegations, stating their intention to remove the items in question from their stores. In a statement issued to TsishaLive
, Zara explains the actions they are taking for the removal of the products.
"Inditex, the parent company of Zara, has the utmost respect for individual creativity and takes all claims concerning third party intellectual property rights very seriously. As a preventive 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," the statement reads.
The retailer also made it clear that an internal investigation is underway and that they will be contacting Ngxokolo's representatives to resolve the situation quickly.For more:
Spot the difference: Zara accused of stealing local brand MaXhosa's design
Zara removes socks amidst MaXhosa copycat claims
Proudly South African Slams Zara For MaXhosa Label Rip-Off