This is a very interesting article which highlights the point that unlike the music and film industry the fashion world accepts rather than rejects imitations. I have never actually thought about this in depth before and I have always viewed copying as the norm in the fashion industry. It is not unusual that you have the runway shows full of new trends and creativity and within 6 months there are duplicates in the high street shops. If there are complaints from designers I don’t hear about it too much and I think this is probably the reason why.
For virtually all players in fashion, some form of derivation, recombination, imitation, revival of old styles, and outright knockoff is the norm. Few denounce, let alone sue, the appropriator for “creative theft.” They’re too busy trying to stay ahead of the competition through the sheer power of their design and marketing prowess.
Designers are always are trying to keep ahead and if they attempted to sue all those that copied their work they would never work themselves. Whether its right or wrong for their creativity to be re-worked I cant really say. I can completely understand why they would be irritated. But to be honest I have always viewed it as a compliment for the designer and not as if they are being ripped off.
For me, when I make it big one day, I would feel a large sense of happiness to walk into a high street shop and see an imitation of my design. Mainly because if I do make it to the level of the Prada’s and Gucci’s, I would appreciate that not everyone could afford my clothes. I would want them to wear my vision and if they couldn’t afford it then fine wear a copy. At the end of the day it is my creativity they are wearing and which they like, that would be enough for me.
The legendary designer Coco Chanel understood this reality. She once said, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only; fashion is something in the air. It’s the wind that blows in the new fashion; you feel it coming, you smell it … in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening