Zara removes 'Maxhosa-like' socks from stores amidst copycat claims
International clothing retailer, Zara, has launched an internal investigation into copyright infringement allegations levelled against them by local fashion designer, Maxhosa by Laduma, over his signature Xhosa-inspired sock collection.
Over the past few days there has been outrage on social media after fans noticed similarities between Zara's collection and Maxhosa's world-renowned range.
The clothing giant has been lambasted for constantly "stealing" other people's ideas for profit. Laduma has since sought legal action against the clothing retailer.
In a statement issued to TshisaLIVE Zara said it had removed the socks from its online and physical stores.
Zara's holding company, Inditex, told said it viewed the allegations seriously.
"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," read the statement provided to TshisaLIVE.
The statement added that Zara would be in contact with Laduma's representatives.
"The company has already started an internal investigation and will be in contact with Maxhosa’s representatives to clarify and resolve the situation as swiftly as possible."
Laduma also expressed his feelings about the debacle on Instagram, saying he was determined to fight Zara in a court of law.
"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," he wrote.
Laduma said he was disappointed by Zara's actions and planned to return every item of clothing he's bought from the store.
"Regardless of the outcome, my family and I will be returning every piece of clothing we bought from them."