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If you aren’t already following John Mayer on social media, you should. When he’s not Snapchatting faux makeup tutorials, he’s busy calling out major retail brands on Instagram for ripping off the designs of independent artists.
On Thursday, the recording artists published a photo of a familiar T-shirt to his Instagram account with the caption, “You made it @kseremetis! Ripped off with extreme prejudice by urban outfitters.” He was referring to designer American painter, sculptor and filmmaker Kostas Seremetis, and the shirt in question is apparently way too heavily inspired by Seremetis’ unique aesthetic — especially the shirts he designed for Canadian clothing company HAVEN.
A photo posted by johnmayer (@johnmayer) on Jan 18, 2017 at 9:27pm PST
The Slayer Split Seam Tee, which sells on Urban Outfitter’s website for $35, is described as “DIY-vibe Slayer t-shirt in a split seam construction with mismatched graphics. Cut in a standard fit and finished with a banded crew neck.” It’s an homage to the rock band Slayer — but it also seems to be an unauthorized homage to Seremetis’ split-image style. The artist is known for what he calls his “cross-pollination” tee-shirts, which are one of a kind.
“Sourcing through hundreds of graphic tees and various materials ranging from vintage comic books, concert tours and pop art, Seremetis then cuts them up and diligently crafts them together again,” says HypeBeast. You can currently find a revolving selection of Seremetis’ work on his Instagram.
A photo posted by Kostas Seremetis (@kseremetis) on Aug 23, 2016 at 5:51am PDT
For proof of the knocking off, though, look only to HAVEN’s online store, where five eerily identical tees include tributes to other musical icons, including Souxsie and the Banchees and The Misfits, and characters like Batman and Jack Skellington. It’s not the subject matter, though, as much as the blatant copy of the signature look of Seremetis’ art.
It wouldn’t be the first time Urban Outfitters was accused of ripping off designs and marking down the prices. In October, Swedish rapper Yung Lean and his collective, Sad Boys Entertainment, accused the mass-market retailer of selling a black long-sleeved bomber jacket covered in the group’s symbols and phrases.
A photo posted by Kostas Seremetis (@kseremetis) on Aug 22, 2016 at 10:37pm PDT
Back in 2013, a woman accused the company of ripping off selling a shirt “carrying a design she claims lifted from a book cover she created,” according to The Village Voice. And in 2011, the retailer was accused by a jewelry designer of “a line she called “United States of Love,” calling it instead the “I Heart Destination” line.”
Yahoo Style has reached out to both Seremetis and Urban Outfitters and is awaiting comment.