Saturday, August 11, 2007

The End of 'Gown in 60 Seconds'?

By Robin Givhan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 10, 2007; Page C02

NEW YORK, Aug. 10 --The end may be near for easy access to cheap, unauthorized knockoffs of designer clothes. Capitol Hill has taken up the cause of fashion.
New York Democrats Sen.
Charles Schumer ...and Rep. Jerrold Nadler ...took the stage Wednesday at the Fashion Institute of Technology, along with designers Narciso Rodriguez, Nicole Miller, Richard Lambertson and others, to champion the Design Piracy Prohibition Act. During an hour that was one part C-SPAN and one part Style Network, the group pushed for the passage of the bill, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week and would give copyright protection to designers' work. (A similar bill has also been proposed in the House.)

Above Right: A copy of Carolyn Bessette's gown appeared in stores soon
after her wedding to John F. Kennedy Jr.
Photo Credit: Charles Krupa -- Associated Press

Unlike other creative products such as movies, music or books, clothing has never been given copyright protection. Designers can trademark a logo, such as a polo pony, graphic lettering or a brand name. They can copyright a specific kind of ornamentation on a garment -- a unique kind of embroidery, perhaps. But they can't copyright the entire design of a dress. A manufacturer could make an exact reproduction of an intricately stitched Zac Posen gown, and as long as there is no counterfeit "Zac Posen" label inside, it's completely legal under current law.
The New York fashion industry generates $47 billion in sales annually...
New York estimates it loses more than $1 billion in tax revenue each year because of counterfeiting. And the New York City police department has argued that black market goods finance everything from child labor to terrorism.
For designers, knockoffs have always been an aggravation. They cut into sales, tarnish a brand's luster and knock the wind out of young designers trying to establish their identity in the marketplace...

Mass marketers could still produce goods inspired by designer collections. Consumers will retain the right to be stylishly dressed on a budget. And fashion gets a smidge more respect as a creative endeavor worth defending.

Read the article in it's entirety at the source:
This is an important article.
My thoughts:
Being in fashion design, I do understand the work and effort put into these collections that are being ripped off. Not going to lie, I have definitely been guilty of purchasing knock offs anywhere from Canal street to Forever 21. Fashion is an art form in itself... That is another reason I started this blog. Most people buying knock offs from random stores don't even have a clue. Most stores like H&m, Forever 21, Express, etc. are inspired by the trends debuting on the runways almost six months before!
However, being a stylist, I like to help people get the same looks for more affordable prices.
I do think it is awesome that designers are doing this because it will definitely help younger designers trying to get their art to the masses. But in order to appreciate it... you have to understand it. I hope I can help with that part.

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