ASOS has been accused of stealing the design for a pair of earrings from an independent jewellery brand.
On Monday, New York-based jewellery and accessories label Studio Cult shared a post on its Instagram account that showed photos of a set of flame-shaped silver earrings on the ASOS website.
In the caption of the post, the brand accused ASOS of “ripping off” the design of its own “Flame Earrings” and claimed the move came after an application for it to be part of the retailer's Marketplace boutique was denied in April.
“We got ripped off by @asos We applied to be a part of their marketplace a few months ago and got rejected but I guess we’re good enough to be plagiarised,” the caption read.
“If anyone has a good lawyer for this kind of stuff, let us know.”
Studio Cult’s earrings, which are made from jewellery grade 316L stainless steel, are available to buy for $40 (£29), while the ASOS versions, which are made from 90 per cent zinc, were being sold online for just £5.
In a separate post, Studio Cult shared side-by-side photos of their own design compared to ASOS’ version, writing: “FYI, these are our Flame Earrings in question beautifully photographed by @haleyvaracallophotography and on the next slide are the poorly executed counterfeit @asos claims to have designed. Please help us spread the word.”
Studio Cult added that since making its complaint, ASOS had removed the earrings from sale on its website. However, the label continued to state that this would not be the end and thanked its followers for their continued support.
“This ‘Asos Design’ listing is down but the screenshots live forever," Studio Cult wrote.
"Thank you to everyone who has given us support regarding this circumstance. You all came and stood up for what is right, and we are forever grateful for that.
Help! We really need you guys to share our story with what’s going on with @asos. They took our best selling Flame Earring design and claimed it as their own on their website. The lisitng states that it was exclusive, was labeled “ASOS DESIGN” and “Selling Fast” pic.twitter.com/39C61JKhkk
— Studio Cult (@studiocultco) November 24, 2020
“We will continue to keep you posted on this issue. We have asked to interview @asos about the above.”
The brand’s initial post, which has since received more than 6,500 likes, was quickly flooded with messages of support from its followers.
“Insane... this stuff makes me so angry,” one person wrote.
Another added: “Why are big companies with tons of designers paid to create always stealing from small businesses?!!! So f***ed.”
In response to the claims, a spokesperson for ASOS told The Independent: "We take any claims of intellectual property infringement incredibly seriously.
"When we were first notified of Studio Cult’s concerns we immediately removed the product from site while we look into the matter with the relevant supplier.”
The retailer added that it had proactively reached out to Studio Cult to hear their concerns and had no direct involvement with the design of the earrings.
ASOS added that it is committed to supporting small businesses.