Humans Of New York, which is a quite popular photoblog, posted the image above on their Facebook page today with the following text:
I am a street photographer in New York City. Several months ago, I was approached by a representative of DKNY who asked to purchase 300 of my photos to hang in their store windows "around the world." They offered me $15,000. A friend in the industry told me that $50 per photo was not nearly enough to receive from a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So I asked for more money. They said "no."
Today, a fan sent me a photo from a DKNY store in Bangkok. The window is full of my photos. These photos were used without my knowledge, and without compensation.
I don't want any money. But please SHARE this post if you think that DKNY should donate $100,000 on my behalf to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. That donation would sure help a lot of deserving kids go to summer camp. I'll let you guys know if it happens.
The photo almost has 40,000 shares on the social media website and after reading the photographers plea, the page was stormed with comments and posts and reposts of the photographer’s message.
A few hours later the Facebook rant had started, DKNY posted an apology on their official page:
Social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook can be really powerful if used for a good purpose. Had the users not shared the photo and the message, DKNY might not have apologized to the photographer at all. All those comments and reposts forced the designer brand to admit its mistake and make amends for it.