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Artists accuse Chinese fast fashion company Shein of stealing designs

At least two artists have accused Chinese fast fashion company Shein of stealing their sticker designs, joining others who claim the controversial online retailer plagiarized their work.

Janie, an artist with the TikTok username @berrycutestudio, who has 166,500 followers, said in a now-viral video last month that stickers of a cow character she created were being sold on the website. Shein.

“Give the little Shein artists a break,” the user wrote in the caption, alongside hashtags such as #stolenart and #arttheft.

In the video, she holds up a sticker of a character she designed — Bella, a cow with strawberries on her head — before showing a webpage that appears to be Shein’s website peddling stickers of the same character. On Janie’s website, a single sticker sells for $3.50, while Shein charges $1 for 44 cow stickers.

The TikTok video has racked up 2.1 million views and generated more than 2,400 comments, with many saying they’ve seen it happen with the fashion retailer before. “Omg I’m so sick of SHEIN. They keep taking designs and pics without asking,” one user wrote.

This month, Janie said in an update that Shein’s cow character sticker listing has been removed, though she has yet to “receive a proper response from them.”

Meanwhile, graphic designer Danny Brito claimed in a TikTok video in February that one of his mirror decal designs was also copied by Shein.

In a clip, Brito shared a yellow sticker with the words “[screaming internally]— a reference to the popular meme — was being sold on Shein’s website.

“You might be thinking, ‘Danny, these are just letters. How can they copy that? ‘” he said in the video, which has over 23,500 views. “But I had the idea to turn this meme into a mirror decal four years ago, and I’ve been selling it regularly in my shop for four years.”

Brito’s sticker is listed on his Etsy store for $8, while the similar Shein sticker was sold for $1 each, according to the clip.

“It’s really unfortunate when someone like Shein, who is known to constantly rip off artists, steals my design, steals my income, steals my way to, you know, paying my bills,” he added. .

In a separate video posted a day later, he wrote, “Still nothing from Shein, no contact, no apologies, no compensation.” But the sticker cannot be found on Shein’s site.

For years, designers and artists have criticized the Chinese company for stealing their work. Last year, Nigerian crochet clothing brand Elexiay accused Shein of copying one of its sweater designs with a crossover design and long sleeves.

A post shared by Elexiay (@elexiay)

Oil painter Vanessa Bowman told the Guardian last month that one of her works appeared on a Shein sweatshirt without her permission.

Despite the controversies, Shein remains popular with younger shoppers and is now valued at $100 billion, making it more than H&M and Zara combined.

Insider has reached out to both artists as well as Shein for comment.

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