Brand Value

This fast passed world of mass production has lead to the copying of designs and gives the fashion industry the trickle down effect, taking high end runway and couture designs and creating a cheap look alike version for the faced paced retail outlets.

The Fashion Spot Australia, Nika Mavrody, ‘Designer Knockoffs’, 19/8/13

Of course, what complicates fast fashion’s blatant copying of runway designs is that high-end designers copy each other all the time. In fact, many economists have argued that copying within fashion speeds up trend cycles, putting pressure on designers to develop new ideas which is why today there’s this relentless churn of new fashion, and the mid-season collections are growing in importance. Still, in the creative industries, originality is part of the job description and plagiarism is frowned upon. So when it emerged, this March, that a coat from Celine’s Fall 2013 collection (below, left) bore a striking resemblance to a 2004 design by Geoffrey Beene by (below, right) it caused a stir. Karl Lagerfeld even went on record to comment: “I must say I was a little shocked,” he told Women’s Wear Daily.

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Even after all this copying of designs in both high end and low end stores, it can seem as though high end designers are ripping people off due to the fact that their designs are being produced and sold for much less, yet still look the same. Obviously there would usually be, or you would hope there would be, a large difference in the garments quality. However several high end brands sell items that are very overpriced for what they are such as Marc Jacobs…

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Surely this Marc Jacobs jumper (above, left) would not be worth $495 but because of the brand name behind it he can basically charge as much as he likes. Designers do tend to over value themselves and it can make you wonder if you’re actually purchasing a jumper that is so much more superior to one that you can buy online from ‘The Iconic’ for $39.98 (above, right).

Due to copying and appropriating designs, it has in some ways lessened the value of brands because people no longer want to pay excessive amounts of money for a designer garment. Even though it would be of a slightly better standard, quality and cut, the customer can instead purchase almost the exact same piece from a fast fashion retail store that has been based on the high end designer garment.

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