Urban Outfitters allegedly rips off designer; Twitterati calls for boycott

A Chicago jewelry designer said the uber-hip clothing store lifted her designs, and social media has picked up her cause. How will the company respond?

Some public uproars are the topic du jour for the blogosphere, but fade away quickly. For instance, will Dove suffer financial repercussions over an ad that many bloggers dubbed racist? Probably not.

Other PR crises, on the other hand, can do harm to a company’s bottom line.

Urban Outfitters, for example, might feel its current public relations disaster in its pocketbook, with people calling for a boycott of the store on the eve of a holiday weekend—one in which many people are inclined to shop.

The incident began on Wednesday when Chicago jewelry designer Stevie Koerner noticed the retailer had seemingly copied her line, which sells on Etsy. “Not cool, Urban Outfitters,” she said on her Tumblr. “Not cool.” Koerner continued:

“My heart sank a little bit. The World/United States of Love line that I created is one of the reasons that I was able to quit my full-time job. [Urban Outfitters] even stole the item name as well as some of my copy.

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