Published Mar 06, 2013From Forever 21's Flipper shirt to Old Navy's shirt that was precariously close to a design from noise rock troupe Oxes, the use of independent music as corporate T-shirt fodder has a storied history. The latest offender is American department store Kohl's, who appear to have, er, borrowed heavily from dance pop troupe YACHT.
Over on the band's Twitter, they've retweeted someone named Cabel Maxfield Sasser, who writes, "My good pals in http://teamyacht.com sang 'If I can't go to heaven / let me go to LA'. I guess @Kohls is a fan?"
He then shared this link to Kohl's online store, where you'll find a T-shirt that contains a verbatim quote of the lyrics from the band's "Shangri-La" single.
Think it's just a coincidence? Well, the typography on the shirt also borrows heavily from YACHT's aesthetic, replacing all of the A's with triangles. If there's one thing YACHT love to use in their band imagery, it's triangles. Hell, they've even built a belief system around them.
YACHT have yet to comment on Kohl's appropriation of their lyrics, nor has the store commented on why they might be selling a shirt like that. We're guessing it won't be long before the shirt is removed from their online store.
UPDATE: On the YACHT's Tumblr, they write: "Listen, we're interested in how ideas circulate through popular culture, but this "If I Can't Go To Heaven" triangle t-shirt is too much. Kohl's is a huge corporate entity that stands to make way more money off our lyrics and design than we ever will. Please share this image and let Kohl's know it's not OK to rip independent artists off this blatantly."
UPDATE 2: In a statemen to Spin, a company rep said, "I will look into the matter 100 percent. We are well versed in copyright law and do monitor our designs legally. If there are similarities in this case, I will look into and rectify. But trust they are coincidental, not intended."