Saturday, 15 November 2014

Fashion Design Copies

I have often wondered how it is that designers can survive financially, considering all the copying that happens in their industry. In fact, it is because of the ability to copy that the fashion industry is as successful as it actually is. I only realized this after listening to Johanna Blakely's Ted Talk, Lessons from Fashion's Free Culture. It also gave me a new appreciation for designers who emblazon designer logos on their products. I have criticized logo-laden products in a previous post without knowing the point of view of the designer label. In a nutshell, designers have copyright protection for their logo but not for their designs. The basic reason for no design protection is that clothing is considered a necessary utilitarian commodity and therefore needs to be exempt from limitations so that manufacturers can produce clothing for the masses. After all, a shirt is a shirt and a pullover sweater is simply that.

Brian D in black patent Tory Burch Revas.
Johanna Blakely made me appreciate two things. First, I now understand why it is that designers strategically place their logos on their products. I have a new appreciation for Tory Burch's Reva flats and I take back any criticism I have ever made about overtly placed designer logos. The second is that it is the freedom to copy which drives those who create and ultimately make money.

Toward the end of the TedTalk, she illustrates the monetary statistics of those industries who are bound by copyright and those who are not.

Yet I appreciate the concept of copyright, particularly in the business of writing and particularly when my authorship is acknowledged.  


  1. Very informative post.

    1. If you have the time, watch the Ted Talk, I think you'll appreciate it in the same way I did.


Your comments inspire me and so I read them in gratitude and reply with delight. Thank you.