Before Models Can Turn Around, Knockoffs Fly By Eric Schaffer September 4, 2007 The New York Times

What so called “designer”, Seema Anand, is doing in this article–emailing photos of designs found on fashion websites like style.com to her factory in India– is egregious copying and should be stopped. The problem is it isn’t just Seema Anand, every mass retailer in the U.S. is doing some form of copying or borrowing and calling it inspiration. The question is A) When does inspiration cross the line into copyright infringement & B) Are “designers” like Seema Anana, and mass retailers like Forever 21 really stealing business from Anna Sui and other top designers?

Personally, if I know or suspect something is an outright knockoff of a high-end designer I won’t buy it even if it is a “steal”. Hello, fake handbags are my pet peeve! Everything starts to get murky when legitimate retailers such as the Gap, Jcrew, and others offer up something that are similar to high end merchandise found at Barneys, Bergdorf, & Saks. Presently, the Gap is offering these Prada-inspired Cap toe ballet flats for a staggering $40. This kind of “steal” is in danger of luring me in…

So as a responsible, high fashion shopper who loves an occasional “steal” where do you draw the line? When are “steals” really stealing?

1 Comment on Must Read of The Day

  1. Anonymous
    September 10, 2007 at 2:17 pm (10 years ago)

    I think all of this is a little silly. It’s not like the designers themselves are coming up with very original designs and so I don’t think designers should be quite so quick to point fingers. There’s a difference between being inspired by something and copying it, sure. But if Prada replicates a design from, say, Delman flats from the 1960s, with the only change being the updated colours, should they really have the right to complain when someone copies them in turn?

    I think the real concern is not for the integrity of their fashion “vision” but for the loss of sales.

    And honestly, I don’t think the argument that you’re paying for quality by buying the original is always the case. I have been disappointed by poor quality in a good share of designer goods (ahem, Chloe).