New Look Needs New Designer

While twiddling our thumbs waiting for alice nine‘s SENKOU single to hit shelves and counting the days of September to see how much longer we have to wait for MIYAVI’s promising new album due out in October, the Visual Kei community has been busying themselves with snaring a scandal.

It would seem that there’s a bit of a border issue that comes up every now and then in the world of international creativity. While art is meant to defy all borders, its ownership, legalities, and respectful usage shouldn’t be brushed aside while leaving the country– or appearing on the web.

There are a lot of vague gray areas and many questions concerning copyright and the internet. With the vast amount of media content being posted for all to see, save, and upload back into the viscious cycle that ravages the entire concept of sharing-is-caring, it can become confusing as to what belongs to who and who can use what for why and when and how.

However, if one thing is clear to me, at least, it is this: art may defy all borders, but what goes up on Deviant Art stays on Deviant Art unless the Deviant Artist says otherwise. It would seem, however, that British fashion brand New Look disagrees.

It has recently been uncovered by GazettE fans that a likeness of guitarist Uruha’s goddess-like visage was used as the graphics on a New Look top. But not only that, the image, described on the online store as a “Pixelated punky girl illustration”, doesn’t credit the illustrator, Deviant Kyunai, whose remarkable Uruha fanart originally appeared on their Deviant Art page in 2007.

As I haven’t received permission from Kyunai to post their image here, surf on over to their DA page and check out the original illustration. It is absolutely worthy of appearing on a stylish top…however, the artist’s permission should be solicited, their affiliation approved, and their dues delivered in that clear, clean-cut and very legitimate fashion (no pun inten– well, ok, fine).

Using an image like this is a terrific idea- the illustration, and the face captured in it, are both exquisite, and such a depiction could be incredible promotion for a lucky artist as well as the band. Unfortunately, this interesting marketing op has been massacred by the tactlessness of whoever ‘designed’ the shirt for New Look. Now, instead of great promotion for the band and the artist resulting in an awesome piece of clothing, we are left simply with image-theft, a bad rap for New Look in the Jrock crowd, and a bunch of people hoping Kyunai’s request that the brand recall the item be peacefully passed.

Original artwork by Kyunai…Used without permission by New Look UK.

Thanks to Tweeps @ToshiChica @JanecutiehWARP for spreading the word.