Urban Outfitters Half-Admits It Was Selling a Plagiarized Skirt

Image via Tumblr.
Hello, and welcome to Urban Outfitters Cannot Stop Stealing From Independent Artists, part infinity. Over the past four years, we've brought you periodic stories about the Philly-based hipster monolith selling designs plagiarized from other artists, something the company has done again and again and again and again. But this latest episode looks just a little bit different, in that Urban has actually admitted, sort of, that there's a problem.

Earlier this year, Urban began selling the skirt you see above, by Australian clothing designer bambam cloth. The design appears to have been lifted wholesale from a 2012 piece called "tryypyzoyd" by Massachusetts-based artist James Soares. He works under the name Spires and sells on Society6, an online artist's marketplace. He learned there was a problem after a Society6 user named Chelsea Birnell left a comment on "tryypyzoyd" earlier this month: "I just wanted to let you know... I think you've been ripped off," she told him, along with a link to Urban Outfitters, where the "bambam geo bodycon skirt" was selling for $59.

Soares didn't see Birnell's comment for nearly two weeks. When he finally saw it, and followed the link to the UO listing, he was very unhappy.

"I knew it was tryypyzoyd immediately because as you can see from the comparison, there was no attempt made to alter the art in any way but to rotate it 180 degrees," he tells the Voice. "The colors are all the same and the positions of the shapes are identical."

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Stealing from Non-Profits Is the Hottest New Trend

Looks like the hip thing to do is to make non-profits even less profitable.

For the third time in a week, a New Yorker has been accused of illegally pocketing megabucks from a non-profit.

The Manhattan District Attorney says that Jeffrey Bernstein swindled more than $2,500,000 from the Albert Ellis Institute, a psychotherapy charity, between January 2010 and February 2011.

Bernstein, 62, worked as director of administration at the org, which offered affordable therapy to the public.

The D.A. indicted Bernstein today, claiming that he conned the group out of money by sending some 80 unauthorized wire transfers to his own business accounts.

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Chain-Stealing Gang Shoots Up Bronx Street

Three thugs shot at a Bronx resident Sunday, demanding the victim's chain, cops say.

Around 3:30 a.m., the suspected perps pointed a gun at the victim in front of 819 East 173rd Street.

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Man with Scarface Jacket Suspected in Robbery

Cops are on the lookout for a man wearing a Scarface jacket (no, really), and say that he and another man recently robbed a Bronx newsstand at gunpoint.

Around 7:15 p.m. on Jan. 6, the two suspected perps entered the shop at 1936 Crotona Avenue, and pulled out black handguns. The suspects, pictured here, took cash from the register and scratch-off lotto tickets, law enforcement officials say. They fled on foot.

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Armed Bronx Jacket Thief on the Loose

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A man was robbed at gunpoint for his orange Marmot jacket in the Bronx recently, cops say.

The sartorially minded scumbag (pictured here) approached a man on the corner of Hunts Point Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard on Dec. 14, pulled out a gun, took the victim's coat and nothing else, and then fled the scene, cops report in a just-released statement.

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NYPD Passing out "Gear Guards," Marking Phones with Invisible Ink for Straphangers

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Michelle D. Anderson

In response to increased crime on trains, NYPD officers have been passing out "gear guards" at various subway stations this week to make sure passengers' backpacks and purses are safe from pick pocketing thieves.

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Cell Phone Thefts Increasingly Common In NYC

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Asking for it.
So far this year, over 40 percent of thefts in New York have involved cell phones. According to Sen. Chuck Schumer, it's because of all the fancy smartphones out there. "The use of iPhones and smart phones is exploding, but unfortunately so are thefts of these expensive devices," Schumer said yesterday. If the thefts continue apace, there will be over 11,000 phones stolen in New York City this year.

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Ice-Pick Bandit Was Just "Stressing" Over Christmas Gifts

39-year-old ​
John Martinez, the accused "ice pick bandit" who was picked up in New Jersey after allegedly cornering and robbing at least six women in elevators in the Bronx's Co-op City and Manhattan's Stuyvesant Town, was indicted yesterday.

Today, the New York Post says Martinez (who prosecutors have called "a persistent violent felon") told the arresting officers he was "sick," while a cousin tells the Daily News he was just mugging people because he was stressed about buying Christmas gifts. Because nothing says "holiday cheer" like being threatened with an ice pick for your wallet. [SH]

Bronx Church Burglar Suspect Nabbed by Cops

Police say they have arrested and charged a Bronx man on two burglary counts, and are investigating him as a suspect for a string of eight other similar burglaries at churches and parochial schools in the Bronx's 50th and 52nd precincts.

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"Ice-Pick Bandit" Suspect Nabbed by Jersey Cops

The New York Post says police in Bergen County, New Jersey, have arrested a man whom the NYPD are calling a "person of interest" in the "Ice-Pick Bandit" case. (The so-called "bandit" has held up at least six women in elevators -- using what looks like an ice pick -- in Manhattan's Stuyvesant Town and The Bronx's Co-op City). 1010Wins identified the man as 39-year-old John Martinez, supposedly an ex-con wanted in a separate case. The NYPD is reportedly working to bring Martinez to New York City for a lineup. [SH]