Usually, when you hear about an established retail brand stealing ideas from an independent artist, A) the brand is Urban Outfitters, and B) the artist is a clothing or jewelry designer. This time around, Zara (which has its own rich history of ripping off artists) is being accused of taking from the former NYC vandal known as Moustache Man.
Moustache Man, also known as Partick Waldo, drew the word “moustache” on the upper lip of people in various New York City ads until his arrest in 2011. Recently, he noticed the above Zara t-shirt, which features a mustachioed skull and bears a striking resemblance to his tag. “There’s no doubt in my mind that Zara stole my design,” Waldo told the Huffington Post. “It’s not as if I came up with the idea and then kept it to myself. I put my moustache on thousands of posters all over New York City for well over a year. They got press before I was arrested.”
Say what you will about Moustache Man’s “art,” but it seems pretty clear that Zara took a little more than inspiration from him. Waldo hopes to receive financial compensation from the chain.