Friend Friday: Copying in the Fashion Industry

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 copycat designs are perfectly okay. Not everyone can afford to wear high end designers! I don’t think they need to rip the designs off stitch by stitch, but a similar look is fine by me. H&M and other similar stores have a brought fashion to those who normally couldn’t afford it otherwise.

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?

If the designer isn’t going to freshen it up, then it makes me feel yucky. If they update it, then what’s the harm?

3. Would you buy an item that is a very well done copy of a runway garment if it fell within your budget?

As long as it wasn’t claiming to be the original designer, I see nothing wrong with it. Do people really have a problem with this? I don’t see any of these questions as copying. Designers copy each other all the time, and no one seems to care. Is it only a problem when someone does it in a more affordable way?

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 feel for the designers because it isn’t fair that they can’t protect their designs more. But really, it would be so expensive and not worth the effort to do so. It’s one of the first topics we addressed in fashion school because it is such a hot topic.

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.

In high school I was so addicted to fashion, but I couldn’t afford any of it. I would look through Teen Vogue and lust after Murakami Louis Vuitton bags and other designer items. I do have some fake bags, but that’s it. I don’t have any fake clothes, and don’t carry the fake bags anymore. Once I hit college I grew out of that phase and I know a lot of other bloggers used to carry fake bags in high school, as well. Now I use the fake bags to organize all the junk under my bathroom sink. It’s great because I don’t care if the bags get ruined and no one looks under my sink anyway. Besides, it’s true, once you get your first real designer bag, the fake ones just don’t compare.

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