Zara Home co-opts design by Flemish artisan

Summary

Flemish woodcarver Patrick Damiaens is looking for an apology from multi-national retailer Zara Home, which, he says, stole one of his designs off the internet

From wood to candles

Maaseik woodworker Patrick Damiaens has discovered one of his designs on a candle sold by multi-national retailer Zara Home, according to Het Belang van Limburg (HVBL). Damiaens, an internationally renowned woodcarver, was alerted to the exact copy of one of his designs by someone in France who knows his work.

“The designers at Zara obviously just copied the design from an image on the internet, without asking,” Damiaens told the paper.

The design is of a family herald from the 17th century, which was reworked by a family descendant and officially drawn and registered by the Herald Bureau Nagtegaal in the Netherlands. The family descendant owns the copyright to the image.

Damiaens was hired to create a woodcarving of the herald. He completed the project three years ago and placed an image of it on his website.

Damiaens, profiled in a recent article in Flanders Today, sent a letter to Inditex, the parent company of Zara Home, together with the owner of the herald copyright. The next day, Zara pulled the €16 candles from all their stores worldwide. The action was taken, the company informed Damiaens, only to avoid problems. It denied that the design was copied, saying that it was coincidental that it was the same.

“The design is completely identical,” Damiaens told HBVL. “You’d have a better chance of winning the lottery than of making the exact same design. All I want is an apology or for them to recognise it.”

Photo: Zara’s candle (left) next to Patrick Damiaens' design