Top Designers Problem: Protection of their creative designs

Ever saw the perfect pair of shoes online or at a retailer only to find out they are way out of your budget? You leave the house with the budget for some new shoes around $150, and the ones that are perfect are over $1,200?  Well after  browsing online or walking into another store, you can find an almost identical shoe for sometimes a fraction of what the famous designer is charging. For example, Steve Madden is known for knock-off styles of shoes and clothes of famous designers. (see below)

YSL's Tribute ($700)

Steve Madden's NVision ($99.95)

Now for the person buying the cheaper shoe, it is nice to have an affordable option to expensive tastes, but for the original designer, not so much. As a result, designers like Diane Von Furstenburg are looking to put an end to blatant design theft by people who create knockoffs of designs that are not their own.

What is done is that a popular design is quickly copied and manufactured cheaply and sold for dirt cheap. This takes away revenue from the designer who created it, and benefits the people who sell similar products for cheaper prices. As a designer, it equates to music/movie piracy.

Right now on the table at the California Fashion Association is the Design Piracy Prohibition Act. This bill if voted in, could put a huge halt on copycat designs that so many high end designers are trying to stop. Things are not as easy as it seems. There are many factors that have to be considered in the bill. Some of the major issues a ....5555 being able to state clearly what is infringement and what is not. Use of the same material, cut, or design is a slippery slope. Before the bill can be passed there has to be clear lines drawn where copycats know where not to cross.

One stipulation in the bill that needs careful consideration. The bill asks for a grace period of three years before a similar design can be made and sold. This may cause more problems than it solves in that there may be a lot of going back and forth over designs that are the basis of fashion, and tend to fall into the cycle of design. This may result in a lot of lawsuits, and a lot of seasons where there are fewer new creations trying to tip toe around copying even the slightest design element.

We will see.


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