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Forum > Fashion Styles and Trends > NYT piece on copying fashion ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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NYT piece on copying fashion
Kknock offs hit the market before designer pieces do.
CarolynD
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CarolynD
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Date: 9/4/07 6:51 AM

I'm on the fence on this issue. How ridiculous it would be if design houses started suing people left and right. But department stores are getting so good at having overseas manufacturers knock designs off before the designer has time to ship their own product. Sometimes it is so obvious when a design has been copied, other times it is very hard to tell, and a certain duplicated look could just be coincidence.


NYT piece on knock offs

Welmoed Sisson
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Welmoed Sisson
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In reply to CarolynD


Date: 9/4/07 7:33 AM

I read that this morning as well, and agree that it's not a very clear-cut issue. What will this do to the pattern industry? If clothing designs are copyrighted, it will mean the end of "designer" patterns, unless specifically approved by the designer. The whole design industry is facing enormous pressure in this instant-turnaround age; they are clinging to their way of doing business while others are finding new markets and new avenues of revenue.
Is this one of those "slippery slope" issues? I think we will be seeing several years of turmoil as older industries wake up to the fact that the internet has changed the traditional business model.
--Welmoed

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Sewliz
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Sewliz  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/4/07 8:12 AM

If the big designers want to have copyright then I think the small community craftsperson should have copyright proctection as well. "Designers" for various brands regularly take working holidays in rural areas of the world, buy a beautiful, one of a kind, cleverly made garment/bag/necklace etc. and have that item copied and mass produced for their stores. Funny that this is ok and copying big wealthy designers is not.
-- Edited on 9/4/07 8:13 AM --

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Liz

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Sew*Confused*Jo

Sew*Confused*Jo
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Date: 9/4/07 8:25 AM

I don't think designers are losing very much money. The article said some people don't want to pay $300 for a pair of jeans. "Want" has nothing to do with it for me. I think most people buying the $30 knockoffs, can't pay $300, so the designers would have never had that money anyway. I'm getting ready to knockoff an $800 dress and a $650 skirt. Believe me, Ralph and Marc aren't losing a dime from me. I do understand that the women who can afford such prices, don't want to see women getting out of 24 year old cars in a dress that looks like theirs.

Doris W. in TN
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Doris W. in TN  Friend of PR
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In reply to Welmoed Sisson


Date: 9/4/07 8:37 AM

Quote: Welmoed Sisson
If clothing designs are copyrighted, it will mean the end of "designer" patterns, unless specifically approved by the designer.

As you say, these are approved by the designers. How else are "designer" patterns being sold now?
Nancy K
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Nancy K
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Date: 9/4/07 9:03 AM

Designer patterns are licensed by the pattern co.. They get paid by the pattern companies and if you look in the back of Vogue Pattern mag, you will see that it says designer original. But if you look through the pattern book you can see where they have knocked off the designer pattern that they are paying for by making some changes. The big problem with designer patterns at Vogue is that they are not actually cut like the real thing. Vogue uses their own slopers to make the pattern.

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Welmoed Sisson
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Welmoed Sisson
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In reply to Doris W. in TN


Date: 9/4/07 9:03 AM

Doris, what I meant was there are many clothing patterns that are not "licensed designs" but still closely resemble a specific designer's design.

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Sew'n'go
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Sew'n'go
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Date: 9/4/07 9:34 AM

From what I understand, if you change a single detail, the copyright is not infringed. If you look at the first dress in the article, the knock-off dress has a skinny belt under the bust. That is a new design detail. The curves of fabric on the color-blocking aren't the same. The original is still more beautiful, IMHO.

It is, indeed, a slippery slope problem.

Erica B.
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Erica B.
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Date: 9/4/07 2:49 PM

I feel that the designers have nothing to worry about. Take for instance the case with Diane von Furstenberg suing Forever 21. Those are two completely different demographics. My 15 year old daughter shops at F21 and I do not! If you prefer DVF and have to cash to drop on her collection, I quite certain you would NEVER buy a cheap, half made replica!

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Erica B.
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velvetandlace
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velvetandlace
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Date: 9/4/07 4:33 PM

It's a really tricky issue, and one I'm not sure how I feel about. It's true that it isn't clear whether the designers are really losing money because of the practice, given the different demographics. The primary problem, I think, is the whole slippery slope issue. Even if we agree that making an exact copy of a designer piece is a problem-and that's debateable all by itself-where exactly do you draw the line? I read an article some months ago suggesting that if designers registered their copyrights and defended them aggressively, and the law were interpreted broadly, it could have a chilling effect on the entire industry. No one would want to make things remotely similar to what the designers were showing for fear of being sued.
It's the difficulty of determining what to copyright about fashion that led to its being regarded as not covered under copyright in the first place.

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