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Proenza Schouler For Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act

Do You Care About Design Piracy?

There's nothing wrong with indulging in a few designer-inspired items every once in awhile, but is it OK to buy a blatant designer knockoff? We think not, and designers, like Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, are looking to protect themselves in such situations with the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act. “The fashion industry is already a tough business, and it is getting tougher because of piracy,” said Hernandez on behalf of the CFDA, further noting that Proenza Schouler spends about $3.8 million a year to produce its collections and $320,000 to produce a fashion show.

If passed, the bill would cover “deliberate copies that are substantially identical to the protected designs” and would provide protection to designers for three years. “Our designs are born in our imagination. We create something from nothing at all,” said Hernandez. “By far the majority of apparel is based on garments already in the public domain. Nothing about the proposed legislation will change that. Nobody will ever be able to claim ownership of the t-shirt or pencil skirt. This bill is intended to protect only those designs that are truly original.” Tell us, do you care about design piracy, or is it all about getting a designer look for less?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
fizzymartini fizzymartini 6 years
I would argue that the Topshop dress pictured isn't a knockoff of the Balmain in any sense. They don't even look alike! "Inspired", maybe. But all artists - writers, designers, painters - are inspired by things before they create. Otherwise from a purely selfish point of view, I absolutely LOVE looking at posts/articles about knockoffs. For some reason, I get a real kick out of seeing just how far some brands will go. Like the Kirkwood/GoJane shoes you picture! Amazing!! I remember when Forever21 was on a real roll a couple of years ago, copying all the major pieces off the catwalk, and I just pored over all the pics... all the "spend/save","cash/credit" features on blogs and mags, it's a weird obsession I have (shrugs). But, sometimes, it works both ways. When I was 15, I unknowingly purchased a knockoff Miu Miu bag from a stall in a shopping centre. I was absolutely in love with it, but It was only after it broke, and I tried to look for a replacement online, that I found out it was a copy! I couldn't get that bag off my mind, and, 10 years later, I saved up and bought the real thing. So the original designers can profit too, as rare a case as that may be!
littlemunchkin littlemunchkin 6 years
I don't know - its such a tricky one. I agree with both posters above but I think, in the end, I believe that a designer should be free to design safe in the knowledge that his design won't be ripped off (and, lets face it, the copy won't be as good). The designer should be able to protect his/her own designs. And also, this bill if passed would encourage other designers to create their own designs rather than just copying someone elses.
MashiaraQCS MashiaraQCS 6 years
Regardless of price or affordability a designer's designs are their own personal creations and lifes work, they should have the right of copyrighting and protecting their work. There should be no compromise because that could work both ways. Small struggling designers have been known to be ripped off by larger companies as well, but we can't say that these laws should only protect them and not more prominent designers. My own personal conclusion, as a design graduate and fashion lover, is that if I can't afford certain designs then it sucks, but that doesnt give me the right to pilfer those designs. It can also be said than many designers are making efforts to bring their style to the masses through collaborations with Target and H&M, as well as more affordable lines of their own. We can't expect every designer to work this way, but it is appreciated. For me, the bottom line is that a designer has the right to protect their work, and any compromise on that is a possible landslide for the worse.
cfp cfp 6 years
On the one hand...I get it. Copying someone else's design=bad. But look: these designers are really probably not any worse off from a revenue perspective despite the copies made of them. Let's face it: even if I love that Balmain probably costs a significant portion of my YEARLY income. I can't afford it. Ever. The topshop dress looks like it, but come on, in reality the quality and overall look just aren't there. It looks cheaper. Balmain customers can afford Balmain and are going to buy Balmain because they buy for the quality and for the label. Topshop customers are going to buy Topshop because they CAN'T afford Balmain and want the same look that they see on the runway. Making a cheap version of a designer's creation isn't going to hurt the designer, ultimately, because the people buying the knockoffs were never able to buy designer labels in the first place. If I could afford the designer, trust me, I'd be buying that instead of the knockoff. But for the vast majority of us, it's just not realistic. And if I love that look, why shouldn't I be able to find it, but in my price range?
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