People Tree Designer Orijit Sen accuses Dior of stealing textile design
Orijit Sen of the Indian craft clothing brand People Tree has accused Christian Dior of plagiarising one of its textile designs, after it appeared on the cover of this month’s Elle magazine worn by Sonam Kapoor.
Sen has posted side-by-side images on social media showing the People Tree textile, featuring flowers and yoga poses, next to the Dior textile that appears to be the same, with the addition of other yoga poses and flowers.
"I couldn't believe they've copy-pasted my artwork and used it as part of an international collection," said Sen.
Dior have so far not responded to Sen’s claims. It is not known whether or not designers at Dior were aware of the People Tree textile and whether they designed the print themselves or sourced a pre-made textile from a supplier. This information is integral to discerning whether or not Dior knowingly copied Sen’s work.
People Tree, which has shops in New Delhi and Goa, is a relatively small-scale business that handprints its own textiles. Sen opined that Dior has “a hundred times the resources that we do and yet we are creating original work and they're stealing from us."
Sen also stated: "This feels like a huge blow to the entire idea of supporting crafts."
Intellectual property laws are still minimal in India compared to many other countries. The past year has, however, seen a range of high profile intellectual property discussions in the Indian fashion industry and the law may need to catch up soon.
Kiran Desai, an intellectual property expert and partner at Indian Law Partners stated: "None of these artists have the desire, or financial ability or time to take on the legal process," and attributes this to the lack of actual law suits in the field.
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