'Marc Jacobs plagiarized my dad's scarf'

Paul O'Mahony
Paul O'Mahony - [email protected]
'Marc Jacobs plagiarized my dad's scarf'

A 55-year-old man from Arvika in western Sweden believes that he may own the rights to a scarf currently being marketed by top US fashion designer Marc Jacobs.


Göran Olofsson remembers well the brightly coloured scarf created by his father Gösta in the 1950s.

"I was very surprised when I saw the new scarf. It looks like a clear case of plagiarism," he told The Local.

With its picturesque little church and wood huts, the scarf is very much a product of its origins. In fact, the two bears, the pasque flowers and the coat of arms depicted on the fabric are all symbols of Härjedalen, a county located in northern Sweden.

Emblazoned across the top of the original is the name of the village, Linsell, where Göran Olofsson grew up with his enterprising father.

Gösta Olofsson, who passed away in 1982, ran a petrol station in the village with a shop where he sold his own homemade tourist paraphernalia, mainly postcards based on his own sketches.

"I would guess that he had about a thousand of these scarves made up," said Göran Olofsson.

Somewhere along the line, copies of the Linsell scarf may have made their way to the United States.

"It looks like he has just copied it straight off, this Marc guy. I definitely don't think he has been to Härjedalen," Malin Nyqvist, a spokeswoman for the local tourist office, told Metro.

Apart from the words 'Marc Jacobs since 1984' and a wider border, the design is pretty much identical to the original.

"I suppose my father was before his time," said Olofsson, who has written to the designer to ask for clarification.

While he suspects that he, as his father's only heir, may own the copyright, he does not want to rule out the possibility that Marc Jacobs may have acquired the rights by some means unknown to him.

"I wrote at the weekend and am waiting for an answer," he said.

The Local has contacted Marc Jacobs for a reaction, but has so far not received a reply.


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