This week’s Friend Friday project is a serious eye opener. When I first read Katy, of Modly Chic‘s, questions my opinion on the topic of copycat designers was very clear in my mind, or so I thought. As I watched the video included in question 4 my whole perspective on the fashion industry began to change. Read this post and tell me your thoughts
1. Which side do you take… Copycat designs are a way for the average consumer to stay current and wear runway styles without breaking the bank OR Copycat designs take business from the designer and cheapen the value of their work. Explain.
I think that copycat designs help the average consumer keep up with trends but they also helps establish high end designers as trend setters making them constantly relevant and influential . Copycat designs don’t take business away from designers because anyone who buys them probably couldn’t afford the real thing in the first place. What we need to remember is that designer items do not only cloth us but they serve as status symbols too, so the wealthy will always buy the original. My only grievance with designer knock-offs is that they sometimes cheapen a design classic as in the case of Burberry’s unfortunate rise in popularity a few years ago.
To this day the sight of any item of clothing with this print turns my stomach.
2. Sometimes we do things, even if they are unethical or illegal (downloading music for free, watching full movies on YouTube). Do you think it is unethical for a designer to copy a vintage piece, make it current and sell it?
I don’t have a problem with this because it allows a new generation to enjoy designs from the past.
3. Would you buy an items that is a very well done copy of a runway garment if it fell within your budget?
I probably would if I really loved the item and I didn’t think it was going to be an item that would soon be all over the high-street. I hate to look the same as everyone else but some trends are unavoidable like skinny jeans.
4. According to the fashion laws, at least in the US, apparel design is seen as too utilitarian to qualify for copyright protection. Would you think this is detrimental to the industry or beneficial?
I think that designers should be allowed to copyright their signature pieces but for the most part I think that the copycat nature of the fashion industry is what makes it successful. If stores did not copy designers and then each other how would trends become established? Replication of designs also means that consumers have access to fashionable clothes at varying prices which is great because today you don’t have to be wealthy to afford nice clothes.
5. Own up… share the things in your closet that is a knock off. You know those things you got in China Town, on the streets of New York, or where ever.
My original answer would have been I don’t wear knock-offs but after watching that video who knows how many I have in my wardrobe. I would never buy an item that was an obvious copy like a goochi bag or frada sunglasses, if I can’t have the real thing then I’m not interested. However the likelihood is that every piece of clothing or accessory in my wardrobe is either a copy of a high end designers creation or was heavily influenced by one. If this kind of copycat behaviour is helping the fashion industry flourish then I guess it is okay with me.