Photographer Who Raised $103k for YMCA Kids Now Wants DKNY to Match

By Paul DeBenedetto on March 4, 2013 8:45am 

 The alleged DKNY store that photographer Brandon Stanton said used his work without his permission.
The alleged DKNY store that photographer Brandon Stanton said used his work without his permission.
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Facebook/humansofnewyork

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A campaign to raise money for the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA resulted in more than $100,000 for the local nonprofit— and now the campaign's organizer is asking DKNY to match his donation.

Brandon Stanton, the photographer who runs the popular "Humans of New York" website, alleged last week that DKNY stole photos off of his website to decorate a Bangkok storefront, even after he said he declined an offer to work with the company.

In lieu of payment, Stanton asked DKNY to donate $100,000 to his local YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The company donated $25,000.

Stanton responded by starting the IndieGoGo campaign, hoping to raise an additional $75,000. But the photographer's fans went above and beyond.

"Over the next three days, my audience stepped in and raised the full $100,000 themselves," Stanton said over the weekend. "Over 3,000 people chipped in, and raised an astonishing $103,710 in 72 hours."

The money will go to the YMCA's kids summer camp, Stanton said.

Supporters sent messages to Stanton throughout the process, some of which the photographer posted to his website. One such message came from the head of a company called Feld Entertainment, which represents the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, according to its website. On top of the donation, she invited 300 kids and parents from the Bed-Stuy YMCA to attend the circus over Easter vacation, according to Stanton.

But the photographer has added a new twist: On Saturday, Stanton called on his more-than-500,000 fans to share a Facebook post asking DKNY to match the donation.

"I have no interest in vilifying DKNY," Stanton said in Saturday's post. "It is a company composed of thousands of good people."

"But I would appreciate if you would SHARE this post, and lend your voice to my request that DKNY raise their donation to match the $103,710 that we raised," he added.

DKNY was not immediately available for comment on Monday morning. But last week, on their official Facebook page, the company apologized, saying the Bangkok store accidentally used an "internal mockup" containing Stanton's images.

"We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used," the post read. "DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake."

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