Today I wanted to bring to your attention something that is going to change the fashion world exponentially. It is something we have been paying very close attention to because the argument is strong from both sides, and will affect the business all the way from the design studio of Miuccia Prada all the way down to your neighborhood Gap store.
For the last twenty-two months Trovata has been in litigation with Forever 21 over the collection of shirts pictured above. The issue that they are fighting about should be pretty obvious. A jury will decide the outcome of the case at the end of this month if the companies cannot come to terms prior to the court date. If terms are not agreed upon this would be the first time in history that a jury will decide whether a company illegally copied a piece of designer clothing. The outcome will change how big fashion chains like H & M, TopShop and Forever 21 can go about copying designer labels. (Big designers have recently tried counteracting this type of copying by collaborating with these fashion chains. Ex: Lanvin + H&M, Kate Moss for TopShop. This is also the reason that in recent years companies like Louis Vuitton, Coach and Chanel have turned away from being great fashion houses that were focused on creating the best, most innovative product; and now have turned into being completely logo driven, at least in the accessories market: the reason all their products are slathered in logos, which is the only way that they can protect their designs under current laws)
It’s no secret that H&M and the likes take inspiration [copy] from designer pieces. However, at this point in time, no laws exist to prevent them from doing so. Still companies including Anna, Sui, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Anthropolgie have recently filed over 50 lawsuits against Forever 21 citing copyright infringement. Trovata is not accusing the store of copyright infringement, but is alleging that they copied decorative stitching placement, unique fabric patterns, and special button placements, among a host of other details.
Also the Council of Fashion Designers of America has been pushing Congress to pass the Design Piracy and Prohibition Act to protect the design of clothes. On the flip side of the argument. critics claim that the passing of this act or a favorable outcome from Trovata is the beginning of a stifling of competition. The copiers are what push high end fashion designers to continuously battle each other to come up with the newest and most avant garde pieces imaginable. They claim it to be a checks and balances for the industry that keeps it honest and stops laziness and complacency with ones designs.
What do you think?
I will definitely keep everyone posted on what happens at the end of the month!