Before we get going here, I want to be clear – this discussion is on “inspired” items, not counterfeit bags or any garment that misuses another brand’s name or logo. We would never encourage or condone that!
It’s no secret in these parts that some of our readers get very punchy when they feel as though one designer has taken liberties with the work of another. The subject of originality is one that’s near and dear to almost any fashionista’s heart, likely because we’ve all been conditioned to seek out The Next Big Thing. When a designer bases a garment too closely on what has already been done, it flies directly in the face of the pursuit of the new. Retro is one thing, ripoff is another.
Or is it? Johanna Blakley, a University of Southern California researcher that specializes in media and intellectual property, thinks that perhaps the well-worn practice of fashionable copycatting is actually what continues to drive fashion forward and make designers better and more original. She makes an interesting case in the video above, and we’ll discuss it after the jump. (more…)