Tsk, tsk, DKNY!
Somebody from the PR department is in big trouble!
A NYC photographer named Brandon Stanton, who also runs a blog called Humans of New York, probably would've loved to see his images in a shop display window…if he'd actually been paid for them!
Stanton recently discovered, via a fan, that a DKNY store in Bangkok, Thailand had used his photos in its window displays without his permission.
"I am a street photographer in New York City. Several months ago, I was approached by a representative of DKNY who asked to purchase 300 of my photos to hang in their store windows "around the world." They offered me $15,000. A friend in the industry told me that $50 per photo was not nearly enough to receive from a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So I asked for more money. They said "no." Today, a fan sent me a photo from a DKNY store in Bangkok. The window is full of my photos. These photos were used without my knowledge, and without compensation."
Despite the fact that his images were basically stolen, Stanton did not ask for payment, but instead requested that DKNY donate $100,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, because "that donation would help a lot of deserving kids go to summer camp."
In response, DKNY released a statement saying:
"For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used. DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton's name."
That's definitely nowhere near the $100,000 Stanton wanted, but it's better than nothing! It's also $10,000 more than what they'd initially offered to pay him for the photos.
Not long after releasing the statement, DKNY's resident PR girl addressed Stanton personally on Twitter, telling him:
Dear @humansofny, this whole thing makes me really sad. U were even just a guest at our shows. This all could have been handled directly.
— DKNY PR GIRL® (@dkny) February 25, 2013
But still, this whole thing could have been avoided if DKNY had just paid Stanton a fair amount for his work!
At least some kids will benefit from that $25,000 donation, though!
[Image via Humans of New York Facebook]