Something of a proverbial fecal storm is currently brewing for Target after the brand completely ripped off an outdoor fireplace design from a smaller American maker.
As detailed so perfectly over at the Modestics blog, ModFire who won the award for Best Furniture or Accessory of 2011 at a Dwell show, is the maker of a cool conical and totally unique outdoor fireplace. ModFire is Arizona-based and has experienced first hand the challenges of designing an interesting product and bringing it to market (See the Modestics maker profile for the complete story).
Target is of course the giant retailer, who is now offering a very similar product. Modestics has taken it on themselves to shame target with a bit of online counter insurgency. They’re encouraging as many people as possible to share the story with #ShameOnTarget.
The Hand & Eye is fully onboard with this effort. Too many young designers I’ve spoken with directly are always getting their designs ripped off by big companies. Smaller and up-and-coming makers lack the financial resources to fight back legally and/or social media presence to mount any real campaign against the practice. Then there’s the fear of retribution, never say getting to sell to a certain large retailer again. It happens a lot and it’s annoying and shameful.
*I’ve emailed ModFire and will update with any comment from the company.