On November 18, Banksy was fed up. He had just been alerted to yet another third party profiting from his name and decided that enough was enough, so he put out the call to steal from GUESS.

It was looking like 2022 would be the year that the anonymous artist simply avoided posting anything on social media, until a trio of posts were uploaded to Banksy's Instagram page in mid-November.

The first two were focused on a recent trip Banksy took to Ukraine, still combatting Russia's invasion. The third was a call for shoplifters to head to GUESS' flagship store on London's Regent Street.

GUESS took down the post it made about the collection on its Instagram account but that didn't silence the call-outs, which briefly spilled across its page.

Though commenters were quick to dogpile on GUESS — not unjustifiably — there's another name at the center of this mess.

We'll get to Brandalised, the company with dubious ethics and a bank account made fat by selling street art that it may or may not have artists' permission to merchandise (usually not).

But, first, the clothing collection at hand.

GUESS collaborated with Brandalised — which GUESS describes as "an urban graffiti license whose mission is to offer Banksy fans affordable graffiti collectibles" — on a rather plain clothing collection with the primary selling point of "graffiti by Banksy," according to a November 2022 GUESS press release.

“The graffiti of Bansky has had a phenomenal influence that resonates throughout popular culture,” said GUESS co-founder Paul Marciano in the statement (Marciano was previously ousted from Guess over harassment allegations). “This new capsule collection with Brandalised is a way for fashion to show its gratitude.”

Gratitude indeed: Banksy will see none of the profits generated by the fast-fashion clothes printed with his work (and the GUESS branding seemingly done in the style of his work).

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Over on its personal Instagram account, Brandalised doubled down by twisting the context of Banksy quotes.

It seems to have gotten one over on GUESS, if nothing else: GUESS' press releases imply that the collaboration is officially co-signed by Banksy, though it merely uses the imagery he created. It's not an official Banksy product in any way.

In fact, Banksy's Pest Control parent company makes it clear that "Banksy doesn't do merchandise. So weirdly, if something looks like a ‘Banksy product’ it almost certainly isn’t."

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Highsnobiety has reached out to GUESS for comment.

One of Brandalised's subsidiaries fought Banksy in court over copyright claims several years ago.

But, because the artist wished to remain anonymous, Brandalised is legally free to use his work as it sees fit.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Sticky ethics haven't slowed Brandalised's roll: it's produced bootleg Banksy sneakers, home goods, and even toys with otherwise reputable Japanese company Medicom.

So, it's hard to imagine one public call-out from Banksy stopping the bootleggers in their tracks but Banksy's call-to-arms for shoplifters may make retailers a little more hesitant to collaborate with Brandalised down the road.

We Recommend
  • Erykah Badu wearing Patta
    15 Best Dutch Clothing Brands Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know In 2023
    • Style
  • japanese clothing brands
    38 Japanese Clothing Brands Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know & Where to Buy Them
    • Style
  • german clothing brands
    22 German Clothing Brands Every Highsnobiety Reader Should Know
    • Style
  • A model wearing Gramicci AW22 collection outdoor clothing matching set lime green and forest green during sunset outdoors
    Around the World in Techwear: the Best Outdoor Clothing Brands You Need to Know
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    You’ll Never Guess Which Brooklyn Legend Joins The Ballantine’s Clan
    • sponsored
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • Shirin Esione
    Zalando Kicks Off Its Streetwear Tour in Berlin
    • Culture
    • sponsored
  • camperlab tormenta
    CAMPERLAB’s Tormenta Goes Monochrome
    • Sneakers
    • sponsored
  • Image on Highsnobiety
    How the Timberland Boot Became an Icon of Hip-Hop Style And Beyond
    • Style
  • main image
    With All This Trompe L’Oeil, It’s Hard Knowing What Is Real
    • Style
  • OMEGA & Swatch's Harvey Nichols Watch Collab Is Major.
    EXCLUSIVE: OMEGA & Swatch's New Moonswatches Are Major
    • Watches
  • Palace x C.P. Company Fall/Winter 2023 collaboration.
    Palace Is Bringing Out the Best In C.P. Company
    • Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.