Aritzia, a fast-growing fashion chain, is currently facing a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Tangle, Inc., a US-based toy company. The lawsuit accuses Aritzia of “improperly displaying unauthorized and illegal sculptures” in its stores and as part of one of its latest ad campaigns. Richard X. Zawitz, the founder of Tangle, Inc., claims that Aritzia has copied his sculptural works, which he has been creating for over 40 years. Tangle, Inc. is known for manufacturing twisted hand toys called the “Original Fidget Toy,” and its founder, Zawitz, has also been sculpting these shapes as larger art pieces.
The company alleges that Aritzia‘s metallic pink twisted sculptures, which were used to decorate the Spring 2023 window displays, are strikingly similar to Tangle’s copyrighted works. According to the complaint filed in a California federal court last month, Tangle asserts that it “owns all exclusive rights” in the set of sculptural works created by Zawitz. The San Francisco-based company claims that Aritzia committed copyright infringement by using the pink sculptures in its social media campaigns and in real life.
Tangle, Inc. is seeking up to $150,000 for the alleged copyright infringement and additional compensation for damages if a jury sees fit. In response to the lawsuit, an Aritzia spokesperson stated that the company is currently reviewing the case and the facts involved.
They emphasized that the sculptures were created by Aritzia’s in-house designers who aim to create an “Everyday Luxury, aspirational shopping environment” for their clients. The spokesperson also mentioned that the boutique visual displays are seasonal in nature and have been taken down in the normal course. This lawsuit comes at a time when Aritzia is focusing on expanding its presence in the US market, having reached $1.5 billion in sales in 2022. The Vancouver-headquartered retailer has gained popularity among millennial and Gen-Z consumers on TikTok, contributing to its success.