Billie Eilish’s fashion collaboration with Siberia Hills has been removed from sale after brand executives admitted to copying designs from an anime artist.
The Bad Guy hitmaker teamed up with the streetwear brand to create a merchandise collection comprised of two oversized hoodies and a T-shirt bearing anime designs.
The 17-year-old announced the pieces on social media last week, and fans of Japanese multimedia franchise Love Live! were quick to spot the similarities. They noted the character featured in the art was the popular Nozomi Tojo from Love Live! and seemed to resemble fan art created by artist Makoto Kurokawa.
The controversy prompted bosses at Siberia Hills to issue an apology in which they admitted to copying his artwork.
“To the talented artist Mr. Qurokawa (sic), we apologise for taking from your artwork for our merchandise collection with Billie Eilish. Billie and her team were not aware that we used your art, they just believed in the product,” they wrote in a statement posted on Instagram.
“We were the creative force behind this collaboration. To Billie and her fans, we apologise for causing this issue. These items will not be released. To those who already purchased, you will be refunded.”
The collection had been available to purchase through Eilish’s online merchandise portal, but they have since been removed from the site and all mentions have been taken down from her social media accounts.
Eilish has not yet commented on the controversy, but Kurokawa has thanked users for alerting him to the use of his artwork.
“I was informed that a company used one of my fan-art of an existing copyrighted character on the clothes for sale without permission. I didn’t permit them to use my fan-art for their design work. I didn’t permit them to use my fan-art for merchandise,” he tweeted. “My fan-art is a fan-art of an existing copyrighted character. The copyright belongs to the original holder. Unauthorised merchandise is not allowed.”