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Legalese of Fashion

September 29, 2010

Warning this is a long winded blog. Be ready before you read.


I had wanted to review the Cavalli show, but I will write about that later for now I feel like there is a difference between those of us who work in fashion and those who simply critique it. I am lucky enough to understand retail and how this article here clearly is not written from the eyes of someone who works in fashion. In this article Johanna clearly talks about the legislation of copy right protection in fashion — a hot debate ever since the beginning of time because copy right doesn’t just exist in fashion. The writer clearly thinks it will hurt fashion, but I have another take.

Above you see designs copied incredibly closely to the original brands of Trovata and DVF (Diane Von Furstenberg) and even independents the copiers are Forever21 and Urban Outfitters.

How do they get away with it? They change 30% of the piece as long as the fabrication is different and there is a slight alteration to the design it’s not illegal. Some brands will change the article even more.

Now the Chanel Replica is a clear infringement and that is why many Replica Bag sites on the web get shut down. If someone can prove that an item is an infringement on a companies logo or print such as Louis Vuitton or Burberry plaid then they are in the wrong. If an article can not be proven to be an original as in a case of Express vs. Forever21 (photo below)(side note I don’t mean to use Forever21 to attack them they just have the most cases out there that were easily accessible for research : /)  meaning it can not be directly associated with that brand or was copied in the first place then the infringing company gets away with the copy.

The new legislation will not go after people who copy a blue t-shirt and sell it in their store to compete with another store, which is what the article seems to think.

My other irk with this article is that it does not believe that fashion is an art, but a necessity to live each day, but where as they use DVF as an example they dare to exclude brands such as Versaci and Gucci whom are losing revenue each year because they don’t have strong enough copyright laws in fashion. This in turn hurts that company and it can hurt the economy as well.

To note luxury brands are more protective than ever. The reason Tom Ford has no photos of his women’s wear collection on the web is either one a very smart marketing move or two because he is afraid “fast fashion” houses will get the designs and get them to the public before the public has a chance to even buy Tom Ford, which is the reasoning he gave. I just added the marketing because it was a great move to get people to talk about the clothes.

Sure not everyone has the money to afford high end brands and their is a different in quality and fabrication, but the bottom line I am making is that the article is wrong I don’t think and neither do many more that this law will hurt fashion.

I like to use this example when you were in school did you like it when your friends copied your work? Probably not. It is especially worse if they would get an A and you would get a B. In this light think of copying a DVF dress. The DVF dress makes a fraction of the knockoff even though the price point is much higher. It’s not fair and I don’t expect designers to sit back and be happy to know that a design is copied print for print. PI know they don’t mind to a certain point, but I think there is a crossing point to all of this and I think sometimes people cross those lines and go to far even if the quality is lacking, but in this case so is the class.

If luxury brands or designers want to they will work with fast fashion houses on collaborations. Topshop, H&M and Target have all done collaborations and Kohls also has the Vera Wang line and also now she has cheaper wedding dresses that will be sold for regular people. These luxury brands don’t want to be copied and instead would rather bring their fashion to our level without having to tarnish their brand by having it copied. These collaborations is what makes me think even with better copy write laws the lower income fashionistas of the world will still get their chance to wear luxury. Maybe not today, but someday.

Sorry for the long post I know it was a lot of reading, but I had to get that off of my chest.

❤ Kate

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 29, 2010 10:58 pm

    Great blog 🙂

  2. October 2, 2010 9:18 am

    It was really informative, thanks! :o)

    -Samantha

    http://thisfashionista.blogspot.com

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