Stevie Koerner sells silver pendants on Etsy, a line she calls "A World of Love." The pendants come in the shapes of states with little heart-shaped cutouts, and in her sales copy, she tells customers, "Wear your love." Her New York pendant is named "I heart New York." It's all kind of cute, right? But maybe too cute, because the pendants, bloggers and Koerner assert, caught the eye of Urban Outfitters, which now sells pendants in the shapes of states with little heart-shaped cutouts too. Their line is called "I Heart Destination Necklaces," and their sales copy reads, "Wear your locale love." Koerner says she was able to quit her full-time job, partly because of sales of her jewelry, and is vowing not to shop at any stores in the Urban Outfitters chain.
About a year ago, a similar story came out about Urban ripping off designers who sold their jewelry at the Brooklyn Flea. A source in the jewelry business told The Brooklyn Paper at the time that Urban is well aware of their reputation for knocking off indie designers: "They know they have this reputation, and are trying to [dispel it]."
If Urban knocked off Koerner's work, it certainly wouldn't be the first time a big chain ripped off an independent designer. The truly sad thing about getting ripped off by Urban right now may be that they've admitted analysts were right about how out of sync with fashion their stock has been lately.