Lillian Crowe's anatomically-inspired jewelry has become something of a fixture at the Flea, mostly because it's rather hard to miss -- this ribcage necklace, especially, but also similar works involving gilded human hearts. So one can imagine she was rather surprised when, as she recently told The Brooklyn Paper, she discovered a strikingly similar piece under the brand "Waylaid" for Urban Outfitters.
Crowe also told The Brooklyn Paper that another Flea vendor, Erica Bradbury (who designs under the label Species by the Thousands), had created a cool shark jaw necklace that popped up in an Urban Outfitter catalogue as well. Bradbury herself was apparently quick to hedge, emphasizing how difficult it is to lay claim to "designs that rely on casting found objects."
Considering how many creative executives live, work, and are inspired by shopping in the city, it seems inevitable that these collisions would occur, and we'd bet a market of independent retailers like the Flea is a double-edged sword of sorts -- making indie upstarts available to tons of passersby both for purchase and for inspiration.