A Manhattan mom is suing a children's clothing store for allegedly stealing her daughter's clothing design. Ellen Solovsky filed a lawsuit this week against retailer LittleMissMatched, claiming the company inappropriately manipulated her daughter after she won an elementary school contest with her "Hi-Bye" design.
Solovsky's daughter, who was in second grade at the time, came up with the design you can see above, which includes a smiley face on the front with the word "Hi" and a frowny face on the back with the word "Bye." She received a $100 gift card and five T-shirts in October 2011 after winning first prize for a school project for the LittleMissMatched-sponsored contest at PS 116.
All the kids at the school who participated were asked to sign away their rights: "[Little]MissMatched knew or should have known that elementary-school students would not understand the meaning of the copyright provision of the submission form," the suit reads.
Solovsky also signed the submission form, but her lawyer argues that the child "owns its copyright" and it doesn't matter that Solovsky probably didn't read the fine print. There's no doubt that LittleMissMatched has really embraced the design though: they have a whole Hi-Bye section on their site, with at least 47 items emblazoned with the faces. That includes everything from T-shirts and leggings to rain ponchos, dufflebags and flip-flops. Welcome to the fashion industry, kid.