Cuban Company Clandestina Accuses Spanish Company Zara of Plaigarism

Clandestina’s T-shirt on the left and Zara’s “copy” on the right.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 19 August 2019 — The Clandestina brand team has reported on social networks that the Spanish chain Zara plagiarized part of its designs in a clothing line that has just been launched in the market. Idania del Río called the action “shameless” and regretted that such a large company “has to copy much smaller people in every way.”

Among Clandestina’s most popular designs were T-shirts with the phrase Actually, I am in Havana that now reappears in Zara as Mentally, I am in Havana. The initial motto arose when Cuba and the United States was experiencing a diplomatic thaw and saw American celebrities strolling the streets of the Island’s capital.

In 2014, Del Río and Spain’s Leire Fernández began working in the shop-workshop located on Villegas Street, between Teniente Rey and Muralla, in Old Havana. “If you want to have a real design, you have to come to Havana and you can’t buy it at Zara because that’s plagiarism,” Fernandez said.

Another similarity of Zara’s collection with Clandestina’s designs occured last year when they launched last year some shirts with the phrase Delete the drama, which could be described as the English translation of the phrase used in the Cuban brand’s the collection of April 2017, Se acabó el drama.

Clandestina’s video to denounce this situation concludes with the workers of the Havana store telling Zara that “it has to stop,” to which Del Río adds: “It is not the first time.”

Last June Clandestina opened its first temporary store in the United States and for several days, Idania del Río was in charge of a point of sale in Brooklyn. The firm, which has operated worldwide since 2017 through its online store, presented its Country under Construction collection last November at the National Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration with Google Cuba.

The Cuban brand is distinguished by the originality of its designs. Clandestina T-whirts, bags and other garments are advertised as “99% Cuban design,” something that has defined them. Initially it was Del Rio T-shirts and posters that turned a lot of eyes towards their store from other countries. Then they added hats, toys, glasses, and pillowcases to their collection, as well as custom work.


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