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Kohl’s designer might have ripped off YACHT

The L.A. electro-pop duo YACHT has a visual aesthetic that’s just as stylish as its music -- equal parts occult and urbane, with lots of triangles and mysticism and affection for Los Angeles.

It’s a good look -- one that might have been clandestinely appropriated by the mass-fashion retailer Kohl’s for a T-shirt line. On Thursday, the band posted this image to its Tumblr account, linking to a shirt sold at Kohl’s and Burlington Coat Factory that pretty clearly owes a debt to the band’s imagery and the chorus lyric (“If I can’t go to heaven let me go to L.A.”) from its popular song “Shangri-la.”

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“Listen, we’re interested in how ideas circulate through popular culture, but this “If I Can’t Go To Heaven” triangle t-shirt is too much,” the band wrote. “Kohl’s is a huge corporate entity that stands to make way more money off our lyrics and design than we ever will. Please share this image and let Kohl’s know it’s not OK to rip independent artists off this blatantly.”

Spin tracked down the design firm behind the shirt, and a rep for Freeze CMI told the magazine that “we are well versed in copyright law and do monitor our designs legally. If there are similarities in this case, I will look into and rectify. But trust they are coincidental, not intended.”

The band’s Claire L. Evans told Spin that a few lawyer fans are offering to take an infringement case pro bono. Right now the item looks to be pulled from the Kohl’s online store, so if YACHT can’t get to heaven, at least they might be able to have their day in copyright court.

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