Last week, an artist accused Nebraska-based tchotchke wholesaler Cody Foster & Co. of taking her paintings of cool jacket-wearing Nordic animals and turning them into three-dimensional Christmas ornaments of cool jacket-wearing Nordic animals. They had sort of forgotten to ask her first, or compensate her. Since then, retailers have been publicly cutting ties with Cody Foster & Co.
The latest is Anthropologie, which sent a statement to Fast Company Design. That site ran a great piece (by Consumerist alum John Brownlee) on Cody Fostergate and the indie design ripoff industry, so companies have been dropping them a line when they decide to drop Cody Foster as a supplier.
Here’s the full statement that Anthropologie sent to Fast Company. It’s interesting because the company claims to have investigated the allegations and decided to sever ties with the company. Here’s their statement:
Anthropologie cherishes the relationships we have fostered with independent artists and designers, which allow us to delight our customers with beautiful, distinct merchandise.
Although extremely concerned by the allegations against one of our suppliers, we believed it was our corporate responsibility to carefully investigate the claims before taking decisive action.
After a thorough investigation, Anthropologie has decided to sever its relationship with Cody Foster & Co, remove any current items from our site and stores and cancel plans to include the company’s products in our holiday assortment. Unfortunately it is too late for us to make changes to our catalog in which a few items appear. While visible in photographs, they will not be credited or offered for sale.
We would like to thank our customers and friends in the art and design community for their patience as we resolved this matter with due diligence and with time. With this closure, we look forward to embarking on the holiday season with a shared vision.
Fab.com sent the site a similar statement last week, right after the allegations came out. “We take the rights of designers very seriously,” their statement said, and the company has pulled items from Cody Foster from live sales on the site and from upcoming sales.West Elm also announced that they’re pulling items purchased from Cody Foster from their stores. The chain was selling several adorable ornaments from the company, at least one of which was allegedly “inspired” by the work of Etsy seller Mimi Kirchner.