Recently in a few blogs I’ve noticed some criticism towards the big clothing retailers, such as ZARA, H&M, TOPSHOP and etc. They have been blamed many times for so-called plagiarism. My bf send me a link today, where Johanna Blakely speaks about the intellectual property in the fashion industry, on TED. I will post the link, so you will be able to see it for yourselves. I just wanted to share my opinion and maybe open a discussion on this matter.
There is a reason why there are so few laws, that protect the designers ideas. The main thing is that none of them is actually inventing a bicycle. All the designer’s are using the history of clothing as a playing field, they do not invent anything new, they just make it look new, sort of reinvent a certain style from the past by interpreting it and giving it their personal touch, many times even mixing a few epochs. So in this sense, not even one designer is unique. There are a few of them, that tried to be very distinctive and succeeded, creating their own kind of style, more unique or memorable than others, so when we see their clothes we are sure that, let’s say this piece belongs to Alexander Mcqueen, Vivian Westwood or Jean-Paul Gaultier.
So what I wanted to say, is I don’t understand why Prada, or whoever would be angry that Zara or someone else made the same bird patterned dresses, for example. This is something that has been done many times, in many places and by many people, I mean it is hard to trace an individual who came up with animal prints first, and I believe that he definitely was not a famous designer. But then if you take those alien shoes of A.Mcqueen, you cannot really come up with someone else creating them, except him.
And in the end I wouldn’t call this plagiarism, it’s more like sharing, and it also makes nice clothing available to people (like me for example) that cannot afford to buy designer brands. So I don’t think designer’s should be fussy about the cuts and colours or prints cause all these ideas are collective and also they have already been implemented a hundred or 50 years ago.