Target: Kevin Mansell, CEO of Kohl’s
Goal: Stop Kohl’s from making a profit on merchandise that features artwork allegedly stolen from an independent artist.
Popular department store Kohl’s is allegedly selling merchandise that features artwork created by an independent artist. However, the artist, Lili Chin, is receiving no compensation for her work and Kohl’s and its in-house brands, Mudd and Sonoma, claim that the work is not stolen. Kohl’s refuses to stop selling the merchandise and claims that the work is the sole creation of their design team.
Chin’s business, Doggie Drawings, sells original pet portraits and illustrations. Many of her products feature an original drawing of her Boston terrier. However, similar black and white illustrations are now appearing on t-shirts sold by Mudd and socks sold by Sonoma, two of Kohl’s most popular brands. The only difference between the original illustration’s and Kohl’s bootlegged versions is that the illustrations appear flipped on the merchandise, while a single bow tie and pair of glasses has been added to several of the illustrations in an apparent attempt to differentiate them from the original.
Kohl’s is claiming no wrongdoing and Chin has no way of earning her rightful compensation for her original work, unless she sues the retail giant and its brands. Such a cost is not a burden on a multi-million dollar company like Kohl’s, yet it is a burden on an independent artist.
Such steep costs make it nearly impossible for an independent artist to fight this alleged infringement. If this continues, massive corporations like Kohl’s can continue to profit off of artwork from independent artists in the future. Sign the petition to urge Kohl’s to pull this merchandise from its stores and online website. Let the department store know that independent artists deserve rightful compensation and credit for their hard work.
Dear Mr. Mansell,
Two of your company’s most popular in-house brands, Mudd and Sonoma, feature products that display artwork allegedly created by independent artist Lili Chin. The black and white illustrations of her own Boston terrier are featured on a children’s t-shirt and an adult pair of socks. Despite Kohl’s best efforts to differentiate the illustrations by embellishing them with glasses and bow ties, their similarities are still striking, too much so to be merely coincidental.
For an independent artist like Chin, selling artwork is a means of life. For a company as large and influential as Kohl’s to take advantage of an independent artist by stealing original work, altering it just slightly, and passing it off as the company’s own design is despicable. Not only have you not offered Chin any credit for her artwork, you have yet to remove the merchandise from your stores and website.
Kohl’s is a company that prides itself the idea of “greatness.” To so knowingly rip off an artist goes against everything the company claims to be. I urge you to take action to remove the merchandise that features Chin’s artwork from your stores and website immediately. Kohl’s would never stand for someone stealing the artwork of its design team. Why, then, is it alright for Kohl’s to do the same to another designer?
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Albert Herring