You regularly hear of design theft where major retailers who should know better swipe something they like from a little guy, like this example of back in 2007 when Sears ripped off Threadless. So it has possibly happened again in Norfolk, Virginia, with Target being the culprit and lingerie designer, April Spring, serving as the little guy. Spring had designed a particular pair of women’s underwear, part of her Foxers line, which have suddenly shown up on the discount retailer’s shelves and look remarkably similar. And while, surely, a similar pattern could have conceivably arrived to both parties’ brains through the ether and simply by coincidence, Spring holds a little more evidence against Target than just that, after having been visited by a rep from the company who held a three hour meeting with her to talk about the design about this particular piece:
Spring said that about 18 months ago, a man stopped at her office and identified himself as an independent representative looking to sell Foxers to Target. He told her the wife of Target’s chief executive already loved the idea, Spring said.
She said that during the three-hour meeting, the man asked Spring how she would design Foxers, priced $20 to $26 a pair, to sell for less in the mass market. She told him she could do a simpler BoyShorts with a plaid waistband in Foxers’ most-popular colors – pink, navy blue and green.
“And that’s exactly what they did,” she said of the $4.99 Target version.