Local designer Laduma Ngxokolo of the brand MaXhosa is seeking legal advice to take action against the international retail brand Zara over an alleged copycat design.
This follows after a pack of socks by Zara emerged bearing a similar print to that of MaXhosa, modern Xhosa-inspired knitwear collection.
Taking to social on Tuesday, Ngxokolo expressed his disappointment at the giant retailer’s ‘copyright infringement’ allegations.
“I’ve had a few copyright infringement cases in the past, and won majority of them, but @zara took this one to great extremes. My lawyers are dealing with this matter, fully understanding that this is Zara’s business model, regardless of such we will enforce our entitlement of laying criminal charges under the SA Copyright Act, 98. Regardless of the outcome, my family and I will be returning every piece of clothing we bought from them. P.s: they’ve started removing the socks from their global site, Sandton outlet."
The copycat design found at Zara. Picture: Twitter
In a statement published on their website, Maxhosa by Laduma, the South African brand explains that the "patterns were appropriated & reproduced in as part of their sock range which they shared as new in their best-sellers on their (Zara) online store.
"Their sock range resembles our Khanyisa Cardigan which was launch in March 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg."
On Tuesday South Africans took to social media, slamming the 'immoral' act by Zara.
Local organisation Proudly SA also called out the international brand through an official statement, stating that the unauthorised replication by Spanish fashion retailer Zara was impeding on the local profits and support of South African fashion brands.
In a press statement, the Proudly SA also stated in their press release that, "Given the level of support they enjoy from local South African consumers, it is their moral obligation to return some of their profits to local clothing and textile designers and manufacturers".