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Its easy for people to pass others artwork as their own, especially in the anime fan art world.
Billie Eilish, along with European streetwear fashion brand Siberia Hills, was accused of doing just that. Eilish and the brand dropped their new merchandise collaboration, calledLove Live! Eilish shared a link to purchase the merch and people quickly took notice that the character in the art was Nozomi Tojo, and the art itself looked like it was made by popular artist Makoto Kurokawa.
On Saturday, Siberia Hills released a statement on Instagram apologizing for using the art.
To the talented artist Mr. M_Qurokawa, we apologize for taking from your artwork for our merchandise collaboration with Billie Eilish, the company wrote. Billie and her team were not aware we used your art, they just believed in the product.
The clothing company went on to explain that everyone who made a purchase would be refunded.
The use of the stolen art was first pointed out by Twitter user @nestuur.
Billie Eilish is selling stolen Nozomi art in her merch what the fuck. This is peak 2019, in a bad way, @nestuur wrote in a tweet that has since amassed thousands of retweets.
Billie Eilish is selling stolen Nozomi art in her merch what the fuck
This is peak 2019, in a bad way pic.twitter.com/XD1VHa2siO
— Nessie (@nestuur) August 8, 2019
The collab featured two hoodies and a T-shirt, all with a graphic of anime girls in four different poses. Billie is written in Katakana.
i'm just looking at the billie eilish x siberia hills hoodie with the stolen art of nozomi and wondering what else of theirs is stolen too pic.twitter.com/E2b8ejKf6B
— ｒｅｋｋａ 🌻 (@rekka236) August 8, 2019
I sure as fuck hope the original artist is properly compensated for this theft, and it swept under the rug with a oopsie sorry we removed it from the store uwu https://t.co/A3riElI3Fs