>> American designers, under the lead of CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg, are currently pushing for copyright inclusion under the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, but a few recent occurrences may hurt their case.
Just last week, Diane von Furstenberg settled out of court for an undisclosed sum with the Canadian designers of Mercy, who accused DVF of copying their jacket (photo comparison here), which in Diane's version appeared on the March 2009 cover of Elle. When notified, Diane apologized almost immediately, as has since ceased from using the copied design: “While this is an isolated incident for DVF, it is unfortunate that way too many others intentionally build businesses by stealing the work of other designers."
It's doubtful that Diane was talking about Nicolas Ghesquiere at Balenciaga, but some questions are now being raised about a leather jacket from his recent Cruise 2010 collection, especially because he has admitted to copying a garment in the past that appeared in his Spring 2002 Balenciaga collection. The current item of contention is strikingly similar to the "Parrot" jacket by San Francisco-based East West Musical Instruments — picture comparison above — which operated in the '60s through the '80s and sold to Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, and the like. It's no secret that designers mine vintage pieces for inspiration, and Nicolas is not an American designer, but two examples in such quick succession can't be helping the Design Piracy Prohibition Act fight.