Even the most educated fashionista can accidentally wear a rip-off. If you're the type of fashion enthusiast who wears everything from Louboutin, to Acne, to Forever 21, then you'll understand this particular predicament. First, the story. A few weeks ago we were shopping up by Herald Square. After hitting up some of the garment district shops for applique goodies (we like a DIY challenge once in a while) we felt our ability to sift through the mass retailer offerings especially acute. So, we dove into H&M and Forever 21 and it took a few hours but we were pleased with the results. A color block dress, a pair of high waisted parachute pants, a denim jumper, a straw hat, and one thirty dollar bucket bag. The bag came last but was added to the pile because the one we were carrying during this endeavor was losing its (many times repaired) strap. About a week later, after many compliments, we discovered the bag on our unassuming shoulder was a Marni rip-off. Now, we look at all of the shows, we read all of the major fashion publications, we're more or less obsessed with all things fashion, since ummmm its our job (though it must be said that this post is is not written by the "we" who is downright obsessed with all things Marni and consumes a great deal of it- Editor's Note: that Marni devotee would Julie our EIC ), but somehow, this particular design fell through the cracks and made us the unfortunate victim of a copyright crime. Because we avoid these blatant rip-offs like the plague, it was especially upsetting. Fashionista runs a nice little feature called Adventures in Copyrights, which keep us clued in to the worst of these examples. No matter how much coverage these items receive, nor how aware you are of what's happening in fashion, if you shop at the chain stores it's likely that you'll make a slip. We're not sure how to solve this problem, all we know is that Topshop is states-bound (which will surely make the process more complicated) and that, as soon as we discovered that our bucket bag was, well, someone else's, we hopped online and bought our old bag in a new color. Below, in honor of the violation, a spread of our favorite bags that, we're sure, are not rip offs. Sure they're more expensive than what you'll find at H&M, but they'll more than likely save you in the long run. Trust us.
Fashion designers may finally get what they've been longing for: a law to protect their fashion designs from being knocked off.
Yesterday, Senator Charles Schumer presented his Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which aims to protect original fashion designs for three years after they are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Current law only protects creative ornamentation (meaning it is virtually impossible to protect a whole piece of clothing), and current trademarks only protect brand names and logos.
Under the new legislation, however, designers would be able to photograph the front and back of whatever they wanted to protect, send the images to the copyright office, pay a fee of about $30, and the design would be registered. Already existing designs would not be covered.
If the bill goes through, it will be interesting to see how this affects the future of certain companies, as well as the availability of so-called fast fashion! I know you all love our Looks For Less, like the one above...thoughts?