Fake Louis Vuitton, Coach, Burberry, Dooney & Bourke…the list goes on.Designers are frustrated by seeing their ideas copied, mass produced, and sold at a fraction of the price.

Here’s the facts…currently if an item is pretending to be an original designer item (i.e. it a counterfeit) then it is illegal. If the item is marketed as a “fake” or “knock-off” then it is okay.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is pushing a bill into Congress to give original designers a legal protection similar to copyright. This bill would in effect stop the production of “knock-offs” and basically protect the original designers ideas.

Let’s look at this from both an ethical standpoint and a business standpoint.

Is producing knock-offs of brand originals really unethical or even damaging to the designer fashion industry? Second question, would a bill providing a copyright for designers really be helpful to the fashion industry?

I believe that it is ethical as long as the “knock-off” is marketing in that manner and not as an original. Globally, the luxury fashion sector’s sales remain healthy, with an estimated value of $130 billion. So I think it is fair to say that knock-offs are not damaging to this sector of the fashion industry.

I do not think that a bill providing a copyright for designers would be helpful to the fashion industry. Think about this…if every design was copyrighted, image how limited designers would be in creating a new design. For instance if the first person that came up with the design of the clog owned that design, it would bar others from adding their creativity to the fun shoes that we all love so much. I think that unique designs in fashion inspire others to add a certain edge to the product and make it their own. As new designs are evolving there is an increase in creativity, competition and sales.

Knockoffs vs. High-End Design

These two areas of fashion design target different market segments. Those who buy the knockoffs are people who appreciate high style without price.

Knockoffs are beneficially because it helps in identifying the brand original as something special and allows it to be sold at a premium. Knockoffs also help the design move through the product life cycle more quickly. A design hits the runways, and within a month everyone is wearing a knockoff, so everyone that bought the original design now wants a new unique product. Next a new and unique luxury line of products hits the runways.

Another way to look at it is that knockoffs introduce conservative buyers to all the hype of the “luxury” fashion industry. I believe that 12 year old girls who are buying knockoffs now will be buying the real thing by the time they’re twenty.

I personally think that every girl deserves one “original” design. I also think that every girl needs at least one piece of jewelry from Tiffany & Co. I got my first piece of jewelry from Tiffany’s as a college graduation present, and I recently bought my first “original” designer bag from Dooney & Bourke.

Original designers…I think you have nothing to worry about.

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10 Comments so far

  1. Adrion on September 25, 2007 9:53 pm

    The fact of the matter is that after the dust clears, the fashion industry remains unscathed even with these “knock-offs” items. I think these designers should look at it at another perspective… Free advertising!

    P.S. as an emerging designer myself, I do not condone the act of producing “knock-offs” at all


  2. Sha' Terra on March 9, 2010 11:39 am

    12 year old girls who are buying knockoffs now will be buying the real thing by the time they’re twenty.

    quote right here made me think

  3. Shay on March 9, 2010 11:47 am

    ahhhh haaaaa ! ppl bhe wearn knock offs !!!!!

  4. kamere on March 9, 2010 11:51 am

    I think that everyone has something but they wont consider it a knock-off.People make knock-off because others cant a foward the real thing.

  5. Iisha on March 9, 2010 11:53 am

    ~mArY bhe wearin dhem 2 soo she kant twak.~lolszxx

  6. shay on March 9, 2010 11:56 am

    ohkaye bicth ! whell soh dew errybdy ! and as well as BRITTNAY !!! [LMAO]

  7. brittany on March 9, 2010 11:56 am

    i be wearin knockoffs tew so its okay

  8. Ashley Brands on March 9, 2010 11:58 am

    I think you guys are being to dramatic with this. Think about it people are walking around making a fool of their selves. You Guys need to grow up seriously, no play!!!!

  9. wayne bang on March 9, 2010 2:14 pm

    fuck all yall

  10. kamere on May 25, 2010 10:51 am


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