How Indie Artist Tuesday Bassen Is Fighting Back Against Zara

Photo via @tuesdaybassen Instagram

The fight against the mega-brand has just begun

Earlier this year, artist Tuesday Bassen, who sells her illustrations in the form of prints, patches, and pins, began getting hundreds of emails from her fans for an alarming reason. She was being asked whether she had been working with fast-fashion label Zara or if they had been plagiarizing her work. That’s when Bassen did a little more research and noticed that the international retailer closely replicated four of her designs (see the image above).

Bassen then hired a lawyer to reach out to the brand. The response?

Photo via @tuesdaybassen Instagram

Basically, Zara claims that Bassen’s designs are too generic for people to recognize them as hers, further stating that the number of complaints is small compared to Zara’s overall following and customer base.

This response has sparked outrage within the independent artist community. Many other artists have spoken out, claiming that Zara (as well as its subsidiary companies Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, and Bershka) has also copied their designs, which you can best see pictured in the below tweet:

... And let’s not forget that time the brand’s men’s collection was criticized for allegedly being a direct rip-off of Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 3.

But does the fact that Zara is a major corporation, with a much larger following than these artists, mean that independent artists, who aren't as well-known, are never going to be able to protect their work? According to Professor Susan Scafidi, founder and academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, it does not. “Any artist's work can qualify for copyright protection, no matter how famous or obscure the creator is,” Scafidi told us. “If a well-known artist or work is knocked off, more people will recognize the copying immediately, but that doesn't affect its legal status. In court, though, it can help a creator's case to present evidence that many people caught the copying.”

Brian Igel, lawyer and partner at Bellizio + Igel PLLC, also agrees. “Certainly, the parties’ respective financial pictures have an effect on the negotiations, and on the prospects of settlement and litigation, but no, the size of Zara’s customer base doesn’t magically make them immune from liability for infringement,” he told us.

While the artists have spoken out about the steep cost of hiring a lawyer, Scafidi says that social media is a surefire way to raise awareness and help their cause. “Large fast-fashion companies are regularly accused of preying on small indie designers, but now creators have a new weapon that costs virtually nothing: the internet and social media,” she says. “The name 'em and shame 'em strategy is typically more effective against companies that pride themselves on creativity than against mass-market retailers, but when artists and designers have copyright protection to back up their claims, big companies may pay attention even without legal action.”

“Public shame can often be an effective tool,” adds Douglas Hand, lawyer and partner at Hand Baldachin & Amburgey LLP. “Designers and other intellectual property holders have occasionally received positive results by going to the press and digital outlets with these types of claims.” 

Though Bassen was “shut down,” or so to speak, by Zara, she doesn’t plan on giving up. “I plan to pursue this further, even though they are trying to belittle and bully me,” she told us. “It has an awful impact on the livelihood of an artist—this is how I support myself, and they are diluting my brand by literally stealing from me. I hope that one outcome is that I can raise awareness for how often this happens and how few artists can actually afford to pursue it. I would also like to be compensated for my work.”

Adam J. Kurtz, one of the artists whose designs were also allegedly copied, has started a separate page on his website, called Unauthorized Reproductions: Shop The Look!, linking visitors directly to the artists’ shops so that they can support these artists by purchasing the original pieces. Unlike Bassen, Kurtz didn’t get a lawyer but instead continuously contacted Zara's customer service until getting a response. The pieces that resembled his work, which he says were “so embarrassingly bad, I wasn’t even going to say anything,” have since been removed along with the rest of the alleged copies.

Kurtz wants consumers to recognize blatant rip-offs like these. He adds:

I'm not a fashion person, so I don't recognize patterns and silhouettes the same as people in that industry would. But them taking the leap to illustration work makes it so obvious that even someone like me can see it. When you shop at a store like that, you are making a choice. I'm not saying that I've never illegally downloaded a song in my life, but what I am saying is that we can choose what to digest. In the case of pins and patches, the original artists are only charging $5 to $10 for the real deal—spend your money supporting another 20-something who's just trying to make it.

Additionally, the outrage has sparked the hashtag #SupportTuesdayBassen, where consumers can voice their opinions on the issue and show support for the artists.

We reached out to Zara for comment, and received this response from its parent company, Inditex:

Inditex has the utmost respect for the individual creativity of all artists and designers and takes all claims concerning third party intellectual property rights very seriously. Inditex was recently contacted by Tuesday Bassen’s lawyers who noted the use of illustrations in some badges sourced externally and on clothes in its Group stores. The Company immediately opened an investigation into the matter and suspended the relevant items from sale. Inditex’s legal team is also in contact with Tuesday Bassen’s lawyers to clarify and resolve the situation as swiftly as possible.

While the allegedly stolen designs have been suspended from sale, there is no word yet whether the artists will be compensated for their designs.

Photo by Rachel Dennis


"What do girls even do together?" This question, or some iteration of it, is frequently posed to me once someone finds out I'm bisexual or hears me mention my girlfriend, or if I make any reference to being interested in girls. I would be annoyed by it, but I have empathy because I know how hard this kind of information can be to find. In fact, the details of how two people with vaginas have sex isn't very widespread information. And, I know that I didn't really have all that much information about girl-on-girl sex before, well, actually having it myself. It's precisely this kind of situation that queer sex educator Stevie Boebi is trying to fix.

Boebi has gained a big following for her informational YouTube videos about how to use a strap-on, how to scissor, how to fist someone, how to choose a vibrator for yourself; any question you could have, she will get you an answer. She doesn't shy away from topics that people wouldn't be quick to ask someone about IRL, either, like BDSM. And she covers the kind of things that are definitely not what we're taught in sex education classes—likely not even in the most progressive curriculums. A study from GLSEN notes that only 4 percent of teens reported learning anything positive about queer sex in their sex ed classes, and points out that in some states, it's actually prohibited to mention queerness at all.

Particularly when it comes to sex with two vaginas, the lack of available public education leads to a general lack of understanding of how we have sex, which then leads to a lack of understanding in the queer community, too. "I just think that lesbian sex is so oversexualized, and we're the least educated," said Boebi when I asked her recently why it's so important for her to spread knowledge about queer sex in particular.

Boebi said that she started out on YouTube making videos about technology, but after she came out as a lesbian, her audience flipped from mostly male to mostly female, though she would prefer a less rudimentary gender breakdown ("the algorithm only deals in binaries, sorry," she quipped).

Ultimately, her sexuality led her to change her content entirely, because she wanted to educate people who couldn't find answers to their questions anywhere else—even on the internet.

"I started getting a lot of what I called 'stupid questions' from very confused teenage girls saying, like, 'How do I do it? Can I get AIDs from fingering someone?'" Boebi told me. They were questions that probably should have had easily Google-able answers, but, when Boebi looked for lesbian sex education content to send to fans who were asking her, she came up empty-handed. "I couldn't find anything. I think I found, like, two articles on Autostraddle, and that was it," she said. "And then I was like, Well, shit! If no one else is going to do it, then I guess I will."

Boebi's audience is mainly comprised of 13- to 24-year-olds, so she keeps in mind that she's helping people who may not be experienced, or even out yet. She uses her own experiences to inform her work sometimes, but also researches extensively and talks to people she knows who "have fancy Ph.Ds in sexology and shit," who can answer her questions or point her to resources she should be referencing.

Boebi's charm is in her relatability; even if she's talking about things we've been conditioned to feel shame around, she does it in such an open and honest way that all that shame disappears—as it should. She does this by perfectly meshing professional talk with jokes and sarcasm, and even uses characters based on star signs. She knows the importance of taking on taboo topics, because there are so many people who won't otherwise find answers to their questions. "I don't actually struggle in my everyday life asking people if they've ever been anally fisted before," Boebi joked with me. "I'll take that burden."

And keeping her tone light and humorous is of the utmost importance to her. "When people are laughing, they're comfortable, and I want people to feel comfortable," Boebi said. "And I want people to know that I'm comfortable talking about sex, and they can be, too." It helps also, Boebi told me, that her audience is separated by a screen, and she's not "in a room with a 12-year-old talking about my labia."

Beyond instructional sex videos, Boebi also deals with other rarely discussed facets of sexuality and physicality. Boebi is polyamorous, and talks openly about it, confronting the stereotypes and the misinformation about the identity head-on. And, she was also recently diagnosed with Ehler's Danlos Syndrome after going years without a diagnosis, and she aims to start working more with disabled queer sex educators to make her work more inclusive of people with disabilities. Though she pointed out to me that her work was already encompassing of disabilities, she "hasn't been a part of the disability activist community for very long," and so she has a lot to learn.

And, though Boebi's happy that she has the platform she does, she wants a more inclusive array of sex educators to join the scene. "My voice is my voice, and it's unique to me, but I think there should be way more," she noted. "Especially people [with intersectional identities]. That would make me so happy if we could diversify sex educators."

And, though Boebi says there's no "ideal way" to educate people about sex, she's definitely on a better track than the public education system, and she makes clear that there's nothing shameful about sexuality—in fact, it's just a part of being human, and a really fun one, at that.

Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video)


This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.


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Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

This cameo has the Beyhive buzzing

I went to see Men In Black: International alone. Which would have been fine if it wasn't for the shock I received when I saw two specific characters on the screen. Unable to keep it to myself, I shared a curious look with the stranger next to me, who was obviously thinking the same thing as me. "Is that them...?" I whispered first. "I think… so," she replied. Then the two men in question started to dance, and we were both sure: "Yep, that's them."

It was Laurent and Larry Nicolas Bourgeois, better known as Les Twins. Fans of Beyoncé will recognize the duo as the talented brothers who often accompany her on tour and in music videos. In Men In Black: International, the two of them play shapeshifting entities—they're more like energy forces than aliens—who pursue Tessa Thompson's and Chris Hemsworth's characters throughout the duration of the film. The twins' ability to manipulate their bodies in ways that are graceful and otherworldly really helps sell them as extraterrestrials and is fun to watch.

So if Thompson in a suit or Hemsworth shirtless weren't enough motivation, here's another reason to go see it. If you look close, you can see them in the trailer below.