Friends, does copying something you've seen on the runway or in a store feel OK to you?
I mean, assuming you're not mass-producing the item to make a profit, does this set off any ethical alarms? You are stealing somebody else's idea after all (not that they necessarily thought of it first).
While I was busy today not doing my sewing homework for tonight's class (in truth, there wasn't much for me to do), I decided to swing by a new store I'd read about recently, Dover Street Market, on the corner of Lexington and 30th St.
This is probably the coolest clothing store I've ever visited and I highly recommend it if you're visiting New York. (You can read more about it here.) Among the many designers they carry is Comme des Garcons, and it's a much more low-key environment to ogle and touch than their flagship store, which I visited yesterday. Along with their culottes for men, I love their highly inventive shirts, and I couldn't help but take mental notes as I examined the unusual construction, layering of fabrics, and use of patchwork on many of them.
On a different floor, I tried on the cotton shirt up top, from a small American manufacturer I'd never heard of, Gitman Bros., located in Pennsylvania.
I recognized the print right away as Alexander Henry's "Home Sewing Is Easy" quilting cotton (You may remember that I own a copy of the original "Home Sewing Is Easy" instructional comic book.)
|How about the ethics of the dressing room photo?|
I could knock off this shirt so easily -- you can find the fabric for sale on eBay and Etsy (They didn't have it at the City Quilter store near me; I looked). If you want the shirt above and can't make it to Dover Street Market, you'll find it here in a long-sleeve, and here in a short-sleeve. NOTE: it's cut extremely trim -- the Small felt too snug across my chest.
So my question is, would you have a problem with this kind of knock-off? I wouldn't be using something approximating the fabric, it would be the fabric itself.
Here's something else I'd like to knock-off: a leather vest/shirt-thing I saw today by Comme des Garcons. The black version looks like a t-shirt in front, the white is more vest-like. Both are secured with a belt in the back. The leather is soft and unlined; the belt holes aren't even reinforced with grommets.
And as you know, I'm also planning on coming up with my own version a skirt and/or culottes as shown in the spring/summer collections.
Any thoughts about the ethics of copying these items or ideas? I mean, it's not like I could go out and plunk down $879 for a mens' skirt; I'm not their customer.
On my way home I snapped a few shots of this guy walking in front of me, and regardless of what you may or may not think of the sagger look, his style seemed so effortlessly chic, it made most of what I saw selling for thousands of dollars at the Dover Street Market look fussy and even a little decadent, do you know what I mean?
In closing, readers, three questions:
1) Have you ever tried knocking off designer fashion?
2) Was your project/garment merely inspired by something you saw, or were you trying to make a carbon copy (or close)?
3) Did you lose any sleep over it?
Have a great day, everybody!