DKNY Use of Photographers Work Without Permission Leads To Crowdfunding Hit

Brandon Stanton, a street photographer in New York City was approached some time ago by fashion house DKNY about using some of his photos in their stores.  DKNY offered $15,000 for 300 of Stanton’s photos which were to be displayed in stores “around the world”.  Advised by an acquaintance the offered amount was too low, Stanton asked for a greater sum.  DKNY said no.  But that did not stop the company from using Stanton’s photos in their stores – as fan forwarded a photographic evidence of a DKNY store in Bangkok displaying Stanton’s photos.

Trust No Man From HumansofNewYorkStanton hosts a site called HumansofNewYork or HONY.  He started the blog in 2010 where he set out to create a photographic census of New York City.  The project has morphed into a look into the daily lives and diversity of strangers in New York and has generated a following of over 300,000 visitors.

While many artists confronted by such an egregious breach of business etiquette would take the express route to potential litigation, Brandon did something unique and special.  He asked for a donati0n of $100,000 for a YMCA to be placed in his name.

As atonement for this infringement, I publicly requested that DKNY donate $100,000 in my name to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, so that underprivileged children could attend summer camp. DKNY responded on Monday with a $25,000 donation.

Now $25,000 is not an inconsequential amount but this certainly pales in comparison as to what the DKNY legal team would have racked up in legal feeds defending such an obv

Let's Send Kids To YMCA Summer Campious lapse in corporate judgement.

Brandon stated further about his relationship with DKNY,

I have no interest in vilifying DKNY. It is a company composed of thousands of good people.The founder, Donna Karan, is highly respected around the world for both her creativity and philanthropy. 

Again he took the higher road.  With the $100,000 goal set in his mind he started an Indiegogo campaign to raise the balance.   The crowdfunding effort is titled “Let’s Send Kids to YMCA Camp”,  the campaign closed on March 1st and had raised an astounding $103,710.00.

Stanton does not want to stop now.  He is still hoping that DKNY will step up and perhaps match the funds already raised.

But I would appreciate if you would REBLOG this post, and lend your voice to my request that DKNY raise their donation to match the $103,710 that we raised.

Together, we could create a $208,000 investment in the lives of children in one of New York’s most vital and diverse neighborhoods. Thank you so much.

DKNYDKNY is no longer owned by Donna Karan but operated by CEO Mark Weber.  The company is a subsidiary of the eponymous luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy based in Paris.

This story is not yet over.  It will be interesting to see if DKNY reacts Brandon Stantononce again.  Regardless of what DKNY chooses to do, Brandon, along with his 3145 supporters, deserves much credit and accolades for doing something amazing.

And now where can I buy one of your photographs?








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