Songs, novels and paintings are protected works of art, but what about clothing? The “You Can’t Fake Fashion” campaign seeks to shed new light on design piracy by launching a line of designer-inspired totes.
This is a serious issue for fashion designers and the use of digital cameras is only making it easier to copy the high-end looks. According to a recent CNBC article, designers are finding everything from colors and patterns to entire garments copied and sold at bargain-basement prices not long after a collection is introduced.
Consumers, eager for cheap designer duds, help fuel the trend. Americans tend to see things as “more is more.” They like to have a volume of clothes as opposed to one or two couture dresses.This issue is even being seen in the automobile industry as some brands mirror high-end details in lower priced vehicles.
And while some designers fight back against this practice — and win, it can be difficult to address long-term. Borrowing some elements of a design, such as a style or color, are protected, making it challenging to prohibit some counterfeit attempts. It can also be challenging to police, although large online marketplaces watch for — and ban — counterfeit sellers from their sites.
The design industry has been lobbying for more protection — not only for intellectual property, but also to protect consumers from counterfeit clothing that isn’t regulated. The issue has garnered the attention of Congress, where industry leaders continue to fight for more safeguards.
Source: CNBC, February 2012