This blog post is addressing an ever current issue in the Fashion as well as jewellery and holistics / wellbeing; big companies to small independents alike: KNOCK and RIP OFF’s.
It is a well known fact that the high street frequently more than borrow inspiration and ideas from prominent designers (up and coming as well as established houses) and replicate their designs in cheaper versions on the high street (TopShop, Zara, Asos, prettylittlething.com you name it). But what has also surfaced to the general population is that high end designer houses such as Dolce & Gabbana also shamelessly take other designers ideas and (try to) pass them off as their own. However, since the rise of social media, it has become much harder for the perpetrators to hide. In fact, there are several Instagram Accounts completely dedicated to calling out knock offs; @diet_prada, @fashion.fakes, @thefashionlaw to name a few. They are so good at their job that they have made many high end friends along the way, although they remain completely objective when naming and shaming and do not cut corners for any brand. In fact, the previously mentioned designer duo of Stefano Gabbana and Domenicio Dolce are really quite the “borrowers” and when recently caught out by @diet_prada , they refused to even come close to a confession. The Instagram page came about a few years ago when a duo of colleagues in the fashion industry were duly noticing this worrying trend within high end (as well as mid-to low end fashion) and decided to call them out on Instagram, tags, links and hashtags – the full works. The page now has 400K + followers and have become a verified institution of their own- gaining the support of many, including ourselves of course.
We very much support this calling out / naming and shaming culture because, even though a famous designer once told us that if he was not being ripped off, he would be worried; we find the design industry extremely LAZY and too darn concerned about making a profit by churning out endless collections; main, pre and bi collections 6-8 times / year rather than actually harnessing the incredible CREATIVE talent that is out there to be found and utilized into forward thinking and ground breaking fashion! Don’t get us wrong- these groundbreaking, forward thinking design houses do exist, however, they are very likely to be ripped off by a bigger name before they get the recognition they deserve! We have read about small independent designers seeing their ideas on the racks of high street shops and not being able to have the finances to take them on; thus with a duo like @diet_Prada there is finally retribution for the Creatives! finally, someone has the guts to call out all the injustices in the fashion industry and not only about knock offs but also about bad behavior in general like sexually predatory photographers and sexist employers. there still is a very long journey ahead for true change but we consider the paradigm shift upon us and thus the process becomes a little easier to face.
As for ourselves and our little family run brand; we may not be entirely groundbreaking in our own ways and we do not proclaim exclusivity and entire original ideas; upcycling, especially of denim and ex army wear has been done for decades. However we do believe we have a unique handwriting and our products can easily be recognized as ours. Furthermore, we believe that the ethical and sustainable foundation upon which our business is built is indeed groundbreaking. All of our materials are 100% re-cycled and part of a circular economy. Imagine if this ethos could spread- say to a bigger design house. Imagine they would visit their large warehouses of stored fabrics and trims and re-use them all in one of their collections. Imagine them taking previous styles not sold and re-working them: removing / adding on, shortening, frill them up or down?! the possibilities are almost endless and so in that sense of the word, we do not mind being “knocked Off”.
We are also saddened by the re-occurring trend we spot on social media where young, small independent creative businesses get copied,Knocked AND Ripped off by bigger companies trying to cash in on their unique creativity; often using the designers OWN pictures while doing so! Fellow Creative brand Claudia Pink , Shop Willows Call well as our chums Moonluxe Candles, Everybody Massage and Navajo Dreams have all experienced this and it is Shameful.
So what is the answer you ask? How to get ahead in the game? Well, In our own experience, with some other Instagram accounts starting to do very similar things to us, obviously borrowing or straight up copying- we say this: Beware, because we are about to KNOCK YOU OUT with creativity that you cannot keep up with and a passion for what we do which cannot be replicated in any way shape or form. And beware, because the public is becoming increasingly aware.