Donna Karan, fashion designer and the force behind the DKNY empire, found herself in a copyright dispute with New York-based street style photographer and blogger, Brandon Stanton, after a DNKY store in Bangkok, Thailand, used dozens of Stanton's photographs without his permission.
According to Stanton, he was originally approached by DKNY with a business deal, in which the fashion company offered $15,000 to use 300 of his images from his blog, Humans of New York. Not long after Stanton reportedly turned down the offer, a fan sent him a photo of a DKNY storefront in Bangkok.
In response, Stanton posted the photo with the following on his "Humans of New York" Facebook page, which has 574,912 likes:
"These photos were used without my knowledge, and without compensation. I don't want any money. But please SHARE this post if you think that DKNY should donate $100,000 on my behalf to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. That donation would sure help a lot of deserving kids go to summer camp."
DKNY acknowledged their mistake earlier this week, claiming the misuse was due to confusion over a mock-up that featured some of Stanton's photographs, used solely to "show the direction of the spring visual program."
Karan and her company agreed to donate $25,000 to the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA in Stanton's name.
While Stanton didn't receive the amount he initially asked for, he reportedly considers the gesture a win, stating: "$25k will help a lot of kids at the YMCA. I know a lot of you would like to have seen the full $100k, but we are going to take them at their word that it was a mistake, and be happy that this one had a happy ending."
Currently, Stanton has taken to crowd-funding to raise the rest of the requested funds. As of 3:51 p.m. EST on March 1, he has raised $91,526.
Do you think DNKY should have donated the full $100K? Comment here.
Top images: AFP PHOTO / Stan HONDA; AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews