News__ Fashionable Copycats

July 20, 2011 | By

When "being inspired by" goes too far. How the fashion industry is attempting to stop copy cats.

The PS1 bag by Proenza Schouler (pictured above) has incited joy, jealousy and...politics? Yes, last week the boys behind Proenza Schouler, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez continued their fight with Target in Washington, re-stating their creativity was stolen and the value of their work was diluted when Target manufactured a similar looking purse.

Eric Wilson writes in the New York Times that the latest course of action for copyright legislature seems like it's coming down to semantics--designers who feel they have been copycatted will now have to prove that the copy is "substantially identical" to their work as opposed to "substantially similar." But with so many corporate manufacturers from H&M to Wal-Mart, it might be a case of David and Goalith--except that David charges upwards of $1,000 dollars for a purse.

Knock-offs are tacky, we all know that, but are we the bad guy if we buy a big floral ring that looks like Dior's Le Bal des Roses collection because, well, we can't afford the real deal? Fashion is most definitely an art form and ripping off an artist's work should be stopped; however, sometimes fashion is utilitarian and you just need a purse to throw your stuff into and when the straps snap in a couple months you're not really that shocked.

On the other hand, the whole thing reminds us of that scene from The Devil Wears Prada where Meryl Streep's character Miranda Priestly (a.k.a. a thinly veiled Wintour) says that the colour of Anne Hathaway's cerulean sweater came from Oscar de la Renta but it "filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner." "That blue," she says, "represents millions of dollars and countless jobs."

So what do you think? Smallest violin or hoping that they win?

__Share this post