Sully’s Slams CityTarget’s ‘Local Pride’ Shirts in Full-Page Herald Ad
Update: Monday, 5:48 p.m.:
A spokesperson for Target provided the following statement via email: “We have a deep appreciation for design, including respecting the design rights of others. We are looking into this issue.”
Not long after the new CityTarget launched in the Fenway neighborhood last month, Chris Wrenn of Sully’s Brand apparel received a handful of text messages, all to the effect of, “Hey, so sorry to hear about Target” and “So sorry they did that to you.” Wrenn didn’t understand the context until he stepped foot inside Target’s urban concept, located at 1341 Boylston Street, and saw its line of “Local Pride” merchandise.
“Almost all of the t-shirts looked like they could have our logo on them,” Wrenn says. “The Green Monstah t-shirt, we’ve been selling it for 10 years. It’s just something that it’s become ubiquitous with our brand.”
In response, Wrenn and his associates at Sully’s took to the pages of the Boston Herald to call attention to the similarities between their wares and CityTarget’s, which, as they note in a full-page ad in Monday’s edition, were crafted by New York based designer Todd Snyder.
“Instead of giving the money to a lawyer, I’d rather just do an open letter to Target and see what happens, if only to build awareness to all this,” Wrenn tells Boston magazine. “I’m upset that they’re making things similar to ours. But I’m more interested in taking them to task for hiring a New York designer to make a line called ‘Boston Pride,’ especially when there are so many legitimate options in Massachusetts.”
In their open letter, the Sully’s team highlighted the company’s philanthropic efforts in the local community, including the donation of more than $100,000 through its “Believe in Boston” shirts toward the Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan Fund, as well as an upcoming Pablo Sandoval shirt benefiting the Jimmy Fund.
“Sully’s Brand was born in Boston: our t-shirts and bumper stickers were first sold right out of our backpacks in the streets of Fenway during Sox games,” the open letter reads. “Sully’s grew into its first headquarters—a basement office across the street from your Fenway store—and later to the North Shore when the building was torn down in lieu of luxury condos. Our growth was due to the loyalty of our Boston fans: they invested in our brand and we, in turn, invested back into our community.”
“We try to be good neighbors. We like to invest in the community,” says Wrenn, who describes the Sully’s team as “big fans” who shop at Target weekly. “I don’t know if Target’s interested in sourcing local apparel. An opportunity to collaborate with a brand like Target would be huge for us. Instead, they tapped somebody from New York City to do it.”
A spokesperson for Target could not be immediately reached for comment.