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Uniqlo Disqualifies Winner Of Pokémon T-Shirt Design Contest For Breaching Rules
By Mikelle Leow, 24 May 2019
Image via Uniqlo
Uniqlo has stripped off the winning title of its annual UT Grand Prix contest from an artist, claiming that he had broken the event’s rules.
For his submission, Chinese artist Li Wen Pei illustrated a ‘Gyarados’ riding on three ‘Magikarp’. “The theme of this design is ‘Ocean King’,” the artist described. “The unique point is that I use a totem style to present it. ‘Magikarp’ is the faith in a fan’s mind. Also, the evolution from weakness to mightiness is like a miracle.”
Li was meant to be awarded US$10,000 for his artwork. Since this year’s competition was Pokémon-themed, his t-shirt design was also supposed to be featured in Nintendo’s upcoming Switch game, Pokémon Sword and Shield. Unfortunately, he was disqualified before he could receive all these prizes.
The Japanese fashion retailer announced in a statement that it has disqualified the Grand Prize winner, in addition to another finalist, “after learning that the designs in question were not in accordance with the terms of that competition.” As such, these artworks will not be featured in its upcoming Pokémon-themed lineup.
According to Nintendo Soup, the rescinding of Li’s title is believed to be because the illustrator had used the artwork for commercial purposes prior to the competition, which is prohibited by the company. He had reportedly sold the design on phone cases and t-shirts.
Li later expressed on social media that he had explained the situation to the company.
Uniqlo has yet to elaborate on the reasons behind the revokement. His spot, however, will not be replaced by another artist.
Cached screenshot of Uniqlo’s website via Uniqlo
[via Kotaku, images via Uniqlo]
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