Designer challenges Warehouse product

By Ged Cann

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Left: Liora Saad's design. Right: The Warehouse's Stay Awesome flag.
Left: Liora Saad's design. Right: The Warehouse's Stay Awesome flag.

The Warehouse has pulled a decorative flag from its shelves after a Hamilton designer raised concerns over its similarity to one of her designs.

The design featured a logo which read "Stay Awesome" which Liora Saad, who owns brand Toodles Noodles, said bears a striking resemblance to her most successful design first released in 2011.

A Warehouse spokesperson said the "Stay Awesome" design had been temporarily withdrawn from sale while a review of the origin was under way.

"The item was sourced via our office in China from one of our regular suppliers who confirmed that they purchased the design from a UK-based designer. We are satisfied with the validity of our sourcing process and made the purchase from our supplier in good faith," they said.

"We are in contact with Toodles Noodles about the matter."

Ms Saad said the design had multiple magazine and blog features including Frankie Magazine, Your Home & Garden, HomeStyle magazine and Stuff's Christmas Gift Guide in 2014 and was sold in roughly 100 stores around New Zealand.

She first became aware of The Warehouse product when another designer noticed the similarity and sent her a picture. After the images of the two designs were posted on social media Ms Saad said she was contacted by The Warehouse who advised the source had possibly come from the UK via Shanghai.

"Now my big concern isn't so much that The Warehouse has my design but where did it actually come from and where else has it been sold to in the world?" she said.

Given the design's exposure in a number of publications and blogs Ms Saad said her advice to retailers was to be more conscious of how the designs they were selling might be similar to others already on the market.

"The fact that The Warehouse has acted so quickly has been amazing," she said.

Ms Saad currently uses the design on products including bags, greeting cards, baby onesies, cushions and mugs.

"The reason it's on so many products is it is my most popular design," she said.

- Hamilton News

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