Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Designers fight back

The text that follows was published at the Council of Fashion Designers of America official webpage cfda.com. It's quite country-specific (about the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, a bill about to pass in the American Congress. Legally Blonde much?) but do read it, it is extremely interesting.
In 2006, the CFDA took a leadership role in supporting legislature that would protect designers’ intellectual property. President Diane von Furstenberg, as well as several CFDA Members including Joseph Abboud, Jeffrey Banks, Marc Bouwer, Nicole Miller and Zac Posen and Gela Nash-Taylor of JUICY COUTURE, traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with senators to discuss the importance of the issue.

The Design Piracy Probation Act will protect original fashion designs for a period of three years from their registration with the U.S. Copyright Office.
CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb praised the bill, saying “We are grateful to this influential group of U.S. Senators for recognizing the threat that piracy poses to designers in America today, and we are pleased that they have introduced such a powerful measure to help put an end to it.”

Design Piracy describes the increasingly prevalent practice of enterprises that seek to profit from the invention of others by producing copies of original designs under a different label. These duplicate versions then have the potential to flood the market and devalue the original by their ubiquity, poor quality, or speed at which they reach the consumer. Technological advances to the means of textile and garment production, as well as increases in the number of distribution channels and the availability of cheap labor in emerging economies have created serious challenges to the growth of fashion design in America. The Design Piracy Prohibition Act grew from these concerns, and was initiated with two main objectives: to protect both the established and the up-and-coming designers whose development, growth and success helps to support the $350 billion U.S. fashion industry; and to preserve intellectual property.
For more information on the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, visit www.stopfashionpiracy.com. Be sure to check the amazing video on the top of the page (it is quite long, but totally worth it) and the real vs fake section. Both are real eye-openers.

And to add to the discussion, here is the craft world's point of view, via BurdaStyle:
If this bill is passed, what does this mean for the indie crafting world, as well as the fashion industry as a whole? On one hand, it would ensure that indie designers, who have quite often been victims of intellectual theft by bigger companies are better protected; it would mean that all the hard work gone into designing and creating clothing for sale are not all attempted in vain.

On the other hand, will the bill potentially stifle the creativity of young designers and crafters? Painters and artists often exchange ideas- in the past, this inspired artistic movements. When asked about their favorite fashion designers or influences, fashion students usually have a long list of names they’re able to recite by rote.

How does one specifically pinpoint where design elements come from, or who they’ve truly been inspired by?
I believe I have given you enough food for thought. What do you think? And please, let's try to see this matter as a whole, and leave specific cases out of this. You know who/what I'm talking about...

7 comments:

*Constance said...

Nice to know,thanks for the info!I like it that you are doing your research. Respect. Although I will probably not find it useful,in my profession, I think it's an interesting post*

*Constance said...

Miss Lopi hurry up plz!!!I can't wait to see the dress!!!

Darrah said...

As much as I agree with it, I don't know how it can be fully enforced.

DaisyChain said...

thanks for highlighting this issue!

Alecca Rox said...

I've been studying this matter for quite a few years now...it is a bugger I tell you. As Darah says above, it's doubtful it can be fully enforced.

Thanks so much girl for taking the time to post it, the more you know, the better you can judge situations and assess good buys...

Wanderlusting said...

I think it will be good if it is passed - I also think it won't harm stores such as Forever 21 either, as long as they can be "inspired" without blatantly copying seam for seam. No one needs to copy directly - but I would like to see the door open to inspirations because after all, we all can't afford a watercolor 1K dress and if Mango or whatever can do it for $20 in a similar style, then why not?

The Clothes Horse said...

I think it's so hard to define piracy of designs and intellectual property when NOTHING IS ORIGINAL. Let's face it, everything has been done, so who is copying and who is being "inspired?"