DKNY Responds to Accusations that It Stole Photos from 'Humans of New York' Photographer

Earlier today, Brandon Stanton, the man behind the popular photo blog "Humans of New York" took to his Facebook page to accuse DKNY of stealing his photos. Now, DKNY is responding.
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Tyler McCall
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Earlier today, Brandon Stanton, the man behind the popular photo blog "Humans of New York" took to his Facebook page to accuse DKNY of stealing his photos. Now, DKNY is responding.
Humans of NY Facebook

Humans of NY Facebook

Earlier today, Brandon Stanton, the man behind the popular photo blog "Humans of New York" took to his Facebook page to accuse DKNY of stealing his photos.

Stanton claims he was approached by the company with an offer of $15,000 to use 300 of his photos for a window display. Feeling low-balled at just $50 per photo, he asked for more money. DKNY refused and the deal fell through.

Stanton thought it ended there. Except today, a fan of Stanton's blog sent him a photo of a DKNY storefront in Bangkok which featured Stanton's photos. Instead of asking for compensation from DKNY, he's requested a $100,000 donation from DKNY on his behalf for the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

DKNY has now responded, also via the brand's official Facebook page, calling the use of the offending photos an "error." From the statement:

For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton's images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used.

DKNY's SVP of Global Communications Aliza Licht chimed in via her Twitter handle, @DKNY. "‏Dear @HumansofNY, this whole thing makes me really sad. U were even just a guest at our shows. This all could have been handled directly."

DKNY's official statement goes on to state they will be donating $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Stanton's behalf.

As many of the commenters on the statement note, that's considerably less than originally requested by Stanton, but also $10k more than he was originally offered for said photos.

For his part, Stanton had this to say on his Facebook page:

$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. Thanks so much for your support, everyone.