ASOS has been called out for allegedly stealing an earring design from a small business, Studio Cult. Studio Cult's bestselling flame earrings have been a staple in its shop for months now, but now ASOS has a suspiciously similar pair of earrings for sale. According to Studio Cult, ASOS ripped off its design after Studio Cult applied for an ASOS Marketplace boutique in April.
Studio Cult shared its story on Instagram and Twitter, asking for help from its followers to report ASOS's stolen design. On April 24, Studio Cult received the above email from ASOS, rejecting its application for an ASOS Marketplace boutique. According to ASOS, Studio Cult was too similar to other boutiques in the ASOS Marketplace, which meant there would be too much competition.
On another post, the brand wrote, "Apparently we were not unique enough for your marketplace but we were unique enough for your to steal our intellectual property."
"They took our best selling Flame Earring design and claimed it as their own on their website," Studio Cult explained on Twitter. "The listing states that it was exclusive, was labeled 'ASOS DESIGN' and 'Selling Fast'."
ASOS has since removed the product listing from its site, but it hasn't done anything to remediate the situation with Studio Cult. Now more than ever, small businesses are struggling. The pandemic has caused many small businesses to close, and when big brands like ASOS rip off their designs, it makes things that much more difficult.