Aboriginal Artist Aretha Brown Has Called Out Gorman For Allegedly Ripping Off Her Artworks

Gumbaynggirr artist and activist Aretha Brown has publicly called out Aussie fashion label Gorman for selling clothes which she says rip off her art.

Four tops and dresses from the Night Light line, plus a pair of bottoms, all feature a design with colours and shapes which Brown says strongly resemble her work.

“So Gorman has stolen some of my designs and made a five piece collection out of them,” Brown wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

“Thanks big brands for always supporting young Indigenous artists!”

With the evidence posted front and centre, her followers strongly agreed.


Both the Gorman clothes and several of Brown’s artworks feature similar black and white silhouettes of buildings and streetscapes.

Brown’s art deals with complex themes and is intertwined with her activism as an Aboriginal woman. In contrast, the Night Line tops and bottoms appear to simply be a decorative pattern.

Gorman did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication, however now the company’s social media posts are being hammered with people telling them to pay Indigenous artists (first and foremost, Brown) and to stop “stealing designs”.


Brown’s works have been exhibited all over the country, including at the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2019 Top Arts exhibition.

Incidentally, she also sells shirts featuring her designs on her own website, making the allegations even more serious.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time fashion labels have been accused of stealing the work of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.

Earlier this year, American brand Urban Outfitters was similarly called out online for selling a blanket which allegedly ripped off the work of Pintupi artist Mitjili Napurrula.

In 2019 Brown told Dazed magazine that as a young, queer, Indigenous woman in Australia, she had “every right and reason” to be angry.

This case appears to prove her point, but Brown made clear to the magazine that she refuses to let these kind of things turn her bitter: “I will never let that happen.”