It's Friend Friday again as hosted by Modly Chic. The topic this week: Copying in the Fashion Industry (readers, please answer the questions in the comment section, I’d love to see what your responses are!)
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'm on the "Copycat designs are a way for the average consumer to stay current and wear runway styles without breaking the bank" side of things because most of the stuff that designers make are pure fantasy level for the average budget for most people. I don't feel that it takes away from their bottomlines because honestly the people who would buy the look-a-likes at the mall wouldn't be the ones buying the $2,000 pair of pants anyway! Not like they are opting out of buying the $2,000 pants to instead buy the $150 pair, they would have never been able to buy them anyhow. The people who can buy the designer goods continue to buy the designer goods.
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 feel that they should get inspiration from pieces and make it their own but they aren't much of a "designer" if they simply copy something as closely as they can and resell it. I'd think that line was very lazy and probably untalented! But if it takes a piece and updates it for the modern world, I'm all for it, it's a totally new piece at that point.
3. Would you buy an items that is a very well done copy of a runway garment if it fell within your budget?
- Yup, I surely would. I won't be able to pay $1000+ for any one item of clothing anytime soon, so why not? I'm not the designers target audience anyway. For things like movies, they are affordable so it's more of an ethical dilemma because most people can afford the items, just don't want to actually pay for them. With the astronomically priced designer goods, people WOULD buy the luxe pieces and just can't afford them so it has a different feel for me.
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. (Check out this video on The Taxonomy of My Wardrobe to get a better idea of this concept: http://taxonomyofmywardrobe.blogspot.com/2010/08/fashion-and-copyright-laws.html)
-I don't think that it's all that detrimental because it falls into different price points. Those who want and can afford the high quality, good material originals will do so and others can look good in a knock off version that they can actually purchase. If it's something totally distinctive, like an iconic logo, then I feel that they should be able to copyright that and fight the knockoffs trying to pretend to pass it off as them, but as for the design of a garmet, most look-a-like outfits aren't exactly the same as the original anyway.
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.
-I received a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag as a gift and it's cute so I wear it. I used to do the knock-offs thing more a couple of years ago but now tend to just buy items that I can afford such as Jessica Simpson handbags or the occasional Coach bag. Now that work is a bit more consistent, I'll be able to support some of my favorite designers, paying it forward if you will ;)
What are your thoughts on designer knockoffs and copyright protection for designers? How would you answer the above questions?