ABSTRAX™ | Our Response to @Brandwashed_
DedicationEspecially for @Brandwashed_ This is our response to you (so called infamous brand police of Malaysia).
Though we positively acknowledged your first feature on ABSTRAX “never-ending” crappy spin-offs of Fairey’s Obama poster (Unfortunately, to date, the demand for that spin-offs never ended and for that, the saga continues), we deserve the right to justify and respond to your post of us imitating or plagiarizing (God Knows Who) Jimi Benedict and AJ Dimarucot collaboration “When Pandas Attacks” on Threadless. To our knowledge, little that we know of their existence two years ago when we came up with the concept”.
Upon researching about this issue, we counter endless debates and arguments on the scientific issue intellectual property and copyright laws and came to understand about the image below which came to our knowledge TODAY (roughly 20 hours ago). The subject matter of Panda itself, is beyond our argument. But let’s revisit the point of argument back. Did ABSTRAX plagiarist Jimi Benedict ‘When Pandas Attack’?
“To our knowledge, little that we know of their existence two years ago when we came up with the concept”.
Nevertheless, we admire your initiative as the brand police to bring the worst of Malaysia’s Streetwear. Just by looking at your posts, we bet you spent countless hours of research and investigation to compare and highlight Malaysia’s #Lokalah brands to Western brands. Importantly, what so great about these Western brands that you adored and look up so much at? To us, what makes them great is that brands in the US/Europe respect each other, work and collaborate in a healthy business environment, and obviously, the don’t have @Brandwashed_ to begin with. And if so, they critique and channel arguments through the right channel either in writing or verbally discuss about the matter in public (talks shows, news and exhibitions etc).
To be honest, at first, we see your virtual existence one that can be considered as a ‘noble’ effort. But then, following along your posts, especially concerning our ABSTRAX’s #Endangerex (claiming that it is a rip-off), according to your Instagram post “that we will say it is ‘coincidence’ urged us to take a step back and really made us re-think your existence, our expression of you and that maybe, the noble effort like what we described above after all is pointless.
“And we repeat, POINTLESS”.
To claim that we are making a bad copy of something great (that we know nothing off) is simply a ‘blind judgment’. We do realized that, and we quote you from last year’s interview on MASSES.com, “I have my eyes on every local brand. Especially the big names. I just love it when they act real cool and creative with their ripoff designs.”. From that, we conclude that, as one of the big names in the industry, we take every comments: positive or negative as compliment and we strived to work harder and be better. Like an old adage sayings, “Once you have money and fame, the next thing you should expect is scandal and shame.” But why so much hate one asked? So this post is dedicated to you. Read it wisely and we intend no hate. We believed that “if you hate your haters, then you are no different from them”. Nevertheless, though we do appreciate your time and countless hours of research and investigation of #ParodyorPiracy on #Endangerex, we realized that you FAIL to recognized the followings and we seek responses from you on the followings questions and arguments:
Point A: Stroke of the Design
Did you look at the stroke of the design? If so, how is it the same? Please explain.
Point B: #Endangerex as a concept. Did you know what is #Endangerex?
At ABSTRAX, as we stressed in any of our presentation and even on our website, we believed in stories – that stories sell. We gel both stories and designs in our products. So when we designed #Endangerex, what we have in mind as a design concept was to highlight our concerns to the existence of an extinct animal – Panda. Panda was chosen as an icon as to reflect the expression of humbling characters. We strived to promote commitment towards fighting extinction of animals via expression of art. So our question to you @Brandwashed_, did you know about what is #Endangerex prior to yesterday? If so, explain.
Point C: What makes you think we copied Jimi Benedict? On what basis/criteria which make you claimed that we copied? Please explain.
Panda has been our official subject matter (mascot) of the brand. We first used Panda since March 2012. When we design the first Angry Panda design, little that we know of the existence of the Threadless website itself and the so-called ‘When Panda Attacks”. It is any similar to your claim? If so, kindly enlighten us.
Then, four months after the release initial design, we introduced Angry Panda Part II (See Below). The question here is, what if we tell you that we have 0% influence from Jimi and little that we know about him.
Quoting Weaver (2011), neither Dimarucot nor Benedict were able to tell where the panda photo came from originally. So, the point of argument here, are we copying them? No. When we designed Angry Panda Part II, the initial illustration came from an actual photo of a panda that have a Creative Commons license, with the license clearly states that of ‘commercial purposes + modify, adapt, or build upon‘. Not Jimi’s nor AJ’s.
So, what makes you think we copied? How is the first Angry Panda design the same? Kindly explain.
We now turn the ball back to you. We urge you to respond to the above points. And we welcome you to join us at our upcoming event called ABSTRAXDay (TBA: Tentatively End April/Early May), where we will organize an open-session to discuss over our past, present and future works with our principal designer, Fahmi Fabilah and CEO, Dr. Faiz I. Anuar. We extend this special invitation to you and everyone (official email invitation will follow). Hopefully, you’ll join us so that we can sit down so we can really discuss and work together towards realizing the ultimate vision and objective of @Brandwashed_ after all. If not, you can continue hiding like you always do. Our hope to you, to just STEP UP.
“We now turn the ball back to you. We urge you to respond to the above points. And we welcome you to join us…”
Last, let’s pause for a second and really think about this. “We often forget that we spent so much time judging what other people have created that we’ve created very, VERY little of our own”.
Fahmi Fabilah and Dr. Faiz Anuar of ABSTRAX™
P/S: Looking forward to reading your response below.
Translation to Bahasa will follow. Stay tuned! Everyone, feel free to comment below and we look forward to hearing your response.