An imminent deadline hangs over fashion giant Zara’s head as they have until today to rid their shelves of items resembling those of local brand MaXhosa by Laduma.
Zara is accused of appropriating MaXhosa by Laduma’s designs and reproducing them.
MaXhosa by Laduma label owner Laduma Ngxokolo has confirmed legal action will be taken against the Spanish fashion outlet. His legal team have sent a letter of demand to Zara, requesting that the socks allegedly resembling MaXhosa designs be removed from their shelves or face legal action.
MaXhosa’s by Laduma’s legal team, Moore Attorneys, also demanded that Zara issue an apology and compensate the MaXhosa brand for the losses incurred.
Zara’s holding company Inditex has reported that a process to remove the items from the stores and online was activated “at the moment this situation was brought to our attention”.
The international clothing retailer has launched an internal investigation into the copyright infringement allegations levelled against them.
Zara said it would get in contact with MaXhosa’s representatives to clarify and resolve the situation as swiftly as possible.
Ngxokolo said the patterns were appropriated by Zara and reproduced as part of their sock range, “which they shared as new in their best sellers on their online store”.
“Their sock range resembles our Khanyisa Cardigan which was launched in March 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg.”
He said the cardigan had been on runways globally, and was still available on their online store.
MaXhosa by Laduma shot to stardom around 2016 when singer-songwriter Beyoncé commented about the designs being showcased at the Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.
Zara is in hot water, as the socks have been spotted in Zara outlets in the UK and locally at the Zara outlet in Sandton.
Parliament’s select committee on trade and international relations wants Zara to share the profits it had accumulated from the “copied” sock designs.