This Irish Designer Thinks Penneys Stole Her Pattern Design

This Irish Designer Thinks Penneys Stole Her Pattern Design

Nowadays, being original is so difficult - it's hard to be authentic in a world of copies. Tell that to Penneys, who allegedly stole the design of an Irish designer. According to Zoe Wong, there's Penneys copied design elements from a pattern she made.

The pattern features coloured birds and looks a little similar:

Zoe said on her Instagram "Can you spot the difference? Our lovely stockist @grainnemahervault in Belfast sent me a snap that she captured in Penneys this week in Belfast. That's our Nankin blouse from SS16 collection 'Marguerite in Paris' on the left. On the right is the Penneys version. I feel cheated and flattered all at the same time. Well played, Penneys, well played".

She then wrote an open letter to Penneys on her blog:

Today I was sent a photo taken in your Belfast shop. My friend saw a sleeveless blouse and instantly knew it was not your design. It was my design. Sure you could say “there’s pockets on our blouse and the birds are different” but I’m not stupid.

This isn’t a rant where I go on about how hard I work, my design process or even the fact that I feel somewhat robbed. There’s no woeful designer here who feels cheated by the big guy because I refuse to be the little guy.

I want to talk about the reality of the situation, emotions aside. The fact of the matter is, life is unfair. My design was open and free to the public and open to interpretation by anyone who saw fit. There’s no law against what you did and there’s no law to protect designers and makers. I’ve often thought about the world and why we have/need a store like Penneys. The fact is the world has become fast, cheap and disposable. It’s not pretty and today was another day I saw the ugly side of fashion.

Moral of the story? FUCK YOU PENNEYS but also you do you Penneys because this is life and life’s not fair.


DailyEdge asked Penneys about the alleged copycat issue and they said:

Primark’s team of designers take great pride in bringing its customers the latest trends at affordable prices. The Primark buyers responsible for commissioning and developing the product in question were not familiar with Ms Wong’s company, or with its designs, and at no time took inspiration from them.
Do you think this was just a misunderstanding and Penneys just dreamt up the birds themselves? Or did they copy?

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Emma Greenbury
Article written by
Emma is an editor and writer from Brisbane, Australia and has been living in Dublin since September 2016 after she decided warm weather and beaches were overrated. She now wears three pairs of trousers every day and loves it.

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