Artist, Banksy, is encouraging shoplifters to help themselves to product at American fashion retailer Guess after they allegedly copied his artwork to use for promotion of its new collection.
The UK-based anonymous street artist took to Instagram to call out the brand in a post, which read: “Attention all shoplifters. Please go to Guess on Regent Street. They’ve helped themselves to my artwork without asking, how can it be wrong for you to do the same to their clothes?”
Graffiti artist Banksy is basically encouraging his followers to shoplift the GUESS on Regent Street after they used his artwork without permission ???? pic.twitter.com/WWNXu3wwRH
— Georgia Coan (@georgia_coan) November 18, 2022
Guess launched a Guess x Brandalised capsule, which Banksy believed featured some of his iconic artwork including Flower Thrower, Balloon Girl and Follow Your Dreams.
The flagship responded by temporarily shutting down the store and covering the windows – one of them displayed the Flower Thrower artwork.
Guess had partnered with Brandalised, a company which licenses fans to buy graffiti through a partnership with commercial brands. The brand described the partnership as a way to: “Offer Banksy fans affordable graffiti collectables.”
Brandalised also responded to Banksy by posting something the artist had previously said back in 2012 that read: “Any graffiti [advertisement ruled out] in a public space gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It belongs to you. It’s yours to take, rearrange and re-use.”
This is not the first time Guess has been in such controversy. Last year the brand was accused of copying Telfar’s famous shopping bag design. Although the store is temporarily closed, the collection is still on sale online.