Target to remove shirt after designer accuses store of stealing design

Small business owner Melissa Lay of Milwaukie, Ore. says that a design that she created for her t-shirt business has appeared on very similar shirts for sale at Target. (KATU/ABC News)

Target officials announced they will remove a shirt from store shelves after an Oregon designer's copycat claim went viral.

"Target has a deep appreciation for design," according to a statement from a Target spokesperson. "As such, we were concerned when this was brought to our attention. We've been in contact with the vendor that produced this tee. We've also reached out directly to the designer."

"We're continuing to look into this matter and are in the process of removing the tee from our assortment," Target officials confirmed in the statement.

Earlier this week, Oregon clothing designer Melissa Lay -- who runs her online clothing store from home so she can be with her children -- told ABC News that she first discovered Target was selling a shirt similar to hers when a friend sent her a photo of it.

This particular shirt has been Lay's biggest seller at her online store: a black and white shirt that had the phrase "#Merica" on it with a white U.S. flag.

Melissa Lay says that a design that she created for her t-shirt business has appeared on very similar shirts for sale at Target.


"It was almost unbelievable seeing the picture," Lay told ABC News. "It was the first thing I saw when I walked in. I've been making and looking at this design for so long."

The story spread quickly over the web, and Lay says other people approached her with similar experiences with the retailer.

Lay told ABC News she was pleased to hear that Target would stop selling the t-shirt.

"I'm just really happy that that was their decision and that was exactly what I was hoping would happen," said Lay.

Lay had no comment regarding potential legal action.

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