For decades Santa Cruz skateboards have featured the iconic artwork of art director Jimbo Phillips. The work has always been unmistakable for his crazy characters with flopping tongues, protruding eyeballs, exploding brains, and of course the screaming hand… previously found on the likes of Christian Hosoi, Rob Roskopp, and Steve Alba’s skateboards. So unmistakable in fact that if Phillips’ artwork was used anywhere else, anyone even slightly familiar with skate culture would probably recognize it. However, after seeing rip-offs of Jimbo’s artwork (Rob Roskopp's pro-model graphics in particular) all over a runway in New York, famous fashion designer Jeremy Scott clearly wasn’t aware of how iconic the Santa Cruz artwork was, or simply didn’t care.

This is the official statement released by Robert A. Denike, CEO and President of NHS, Inc./Santa Cruz Skateboards:

"We had never heard of Jeremy Scott until it was brought to our attention. This is not a collaboration or under license, nor did we or the Phillips family approve the use of this artwork on his apparel designs in any way.

It's obvious to us, the Phillips family, the fans of Jim Phillips Sr. and Jimbo Phillips, and fans of the brand Santa Cruz Skateboards, as well as many in the global skateboard and skate art community that there is clear and obvious infringement by Mr. Scott. We are discussing this with our legal team to determine our next steps.

These two artists and this brand are iconic. Any true fan of skateboarding will tell you how the Phillips artwork style, this brand and the activity of skateboarding has positively influenced their lives. It may just be artwork to Mr. Scott, to be used and thrown away by next season, but these artists and brand mean a lot to many people around the world. And by the looks of the outcry on social media, skateboarders and non-skater’s alike are angry to have two of their most favored artists and one of the original true skateboard brands violated in such a way.

I hope that Mr. Scott sees that his actions have hurt and affected many people, including the Phillips family, and that he has also severely damaged his own reputation. It is not too late for him to do the right thing, as an artist and creative person, and fix his error in judgement.

Kicked off by a random post on Tumblr, Jimbo caught wind of the whole situation and made a post on his Facebook Page, comparing the blatant similarities between his own artwork and Jeremy Scott’s pieces, and things quickly blew up from there. Many people have concluded that Jeremy Scott must have obtained a copy of Jim Phillips Sr. book "The Skateboard Art of Jim Phillips", because of some of the obscure artwork that could have only been found in the book. So far Jeremy Scott hasn’t piped up about the fact that he has clearly ripped of the Santa Cruz artwork. But we can assume there will be some sort of lawsuit developing around the issue. On one hand it might be a little flattering that a man who has designed clothing for the likes of Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry decided to use your art in his line. But on the other hand, if Jeremy Scott wanted to use the artwork he should have proposed it to Jimbo Phillips as a collaboration, instead of carelessly stealing it for himself.

The initial Tumblr post that brought the whole thing to Jimbo Phillip's attention.

The post Jimbo Phillips made to his Facebook page after realizing the similarities.