Currently there are no copyright laws when it comes to fashion designs. Fast fashion forward companies like Forever 21 are ripping hot looks straight off the runway before designers can even get them into stores. It’s a controversial subject we often talk about at the Academy of Arts University, and many students are against copying fashion and think that laws should be changed to protect designers. But I say differently. The entire class must frown upon me.
Why do I not care for more laws? Political reasons. This is a law that will protect a small percentage of business owners, and affect opposing companies. But theoretically, does it affect starving children or overworked underpaid workers? No. It’s just a law that suits some and upsets others, those who have their finger in the pie.
Besides the political reasons… look at the end consumers psychological efficacies. It’s like a knock off Louis Vuitton handbag. You’re at the hottest club on Saturday night and you see a girl in the bathroom and she has the hottest Louis Vutton bag of the season. You take a closer look and notice a misprint in the LV symbol. That bag just got demoted to knock off and that girl just got outed. I mean, think of the headlines…
“Anna Wintour spotted at hotspot …. rocking an exclusive specially “Made in China” Louis Vuitton handbag.”
The idea that there are knock offs out there create value in the original. As a designer, perhaps we should look at better branding our designs. Louis Vuitton goes through great lengths and costs to differentiate their designs from others. I think it is the small businesses that suffer and must differentiate themselves from the competition. Betsey Johnson went bankrupt for example. Although she is a big name in fashion, she can’t compete with deep pocketed companies such as LVMH Group (Louis Vuitton), or even fast fashion companies like H&M and Forever 21. As business owners, we must be quick on our feet to change with the times and the economy. We can’t blame our failure, for someone else’s success.
In reality, people who are concerned about style will shop responsibly. If they can’t afford $800 for the Dolce & Gabbannas, they will buy the $25 Forever 21 knock offs. People who CAN afford designer items will continue to buy them. I feel that this is evening the field. Fashion companies have fed off of insecurities and have made people feel that they have to have those designer Manolos fresh off the runway. I feel it is more socially responsible to offer the product to everyone at a cost they can afford. Why should Manolo own the patent to the maryjane stiletto? Sure, the woman who own’s and wears this fabulous shoe will know it. If you wear the $12 version, you’re going to know when it falls apart, you have blisters, and you have to throw them away because they don’t have a lifetime warranty.
Diane Von Furstenberg
$1,685 Versacce vs. $130 Bebe
Trovata is suing Forever 21
$389 Tibi Dress
Miu Miu Mary Jane Platform
Fashion is art in it’s finest form, it’s beauty, and can be expressed in infinite. The knock offs are what create the value in the original. Haters are our biggest fans. Feel flattered you are being imitated. It just makes me feel that much more special that I don’t wear knock off cheap shoes. (: