"Not cool, Urban Outfitters, not cool."
That was Chicago designer Stevie Koerner's reaction after a customer alerted her to a line of jewelry on Urban Outfitters' website (it has since been removed) that looked suspiciously like her own.
Not to mention the names of some of the items and descriptions of the design aesthetic for the jewelry were similar as well.
But instead of hiring lawyers to go after the retail giant, it appears that Koerner took to social media instead. Her "I Like Shiny Things" blog posting detailing the similarities between the two lines went viral on Twitter and Tumblr and was picked up by several media outlets. Koerner says her "World/United States of Love" line was one of the reasons she was able to quit her full-time job, and also pledged to avoid Urban Outfitters and the stores they own.
"I’m very disappointed in Urban Outfitters. I know they have stolen designs from plenty of other artists. I understand that they are a business, but it’s not cool to completely rip off an independent designer’s work."
According to Tumblr's fashion director Richard Tong, Urban Outfitters began the process of reaching out to Koerner on Thursday to remove the jewelry line from its site and it was gone by Friday morning.
But the social media shame that resulted from the situation appears to be good for Koerner's business. On the etsy.com website where she sells her jewelry, she thanks her customers for their support and says "orders will take a bit longer due to the overwhelming response to Urban Outfitters!"
Koerner told NBC Chicago that she was surprised it all happened so quickly.
"The internet community is so strong, and I'm happy people are fired up about supporting independent artists and designers," Koerner said via email. "It's very inspiring to be part of a community who has unified through the internet and whose voice has been heard."
Attempts Urban Outfitters for comment were not immediately returned.
Screengrab from UrbanOutfitters.com
Screengrab of Stevie Koerner's Jewelry Line