Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is West Elm Ripping Off Indie Brooklyn Furniture Makers?

NOTE:

PLEASE SEE CORRECTION TO THIS POST! WEST ELM DID NOT COPY ROGER BENTON.

While surfing blogs today I came across this little number (at right, in white) by West Elm in design*sponge's side table round up.

It looks mighty familiar. Remember this great design (at left, in walnut) by Brooklyn furniture maker Roger Benton that we showcased in our Fall Furniture Festival at the Brooklyn Flea in October?

Yeah.

Not only do they clearly resemble each other, but the dimensions and proportions are almost exactly the same. The knock-off is offered in "chocolate" too.

Of course, Roger's has quite a bit more soul, style, and substance, but c'mon, really?? Like I needed any more reason to dislike West Elm.

Stuff like this absolutely makes my head spin around. I need to learn more about how designers and craftspeople can protect their intellectual property. Anyone have some suggested reading for me?

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Top image sourced here. Bottom image courtesy of Roger Benton.

2 comments:

Pia said...

If you read this interview, you'll see it's actually the other way around. http://brooklynmodern.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/a-conversation-with-rodger-benton/

Greenjeans said...

THANK YOU, Pia, for setting me straight!

I've posted a correction and apology:

http://greenjeansbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2009/01/correction-and-apology.html