Designer knockoffs are nothing new. Famously, Forever 21 is actually best known for their propensity for copying clothing designs, making cheaper versions, and selling them in their stores. To my amazement however, just a few days after buying a dress and a shirt from Urban Outfitters, I spot the exact copy, albeit both cheaper in price and quality, at TJ Maxx.
Below is a photo of the pink Sparkle & Fade sleeveless chiffon shirt I purchased from Urban Outfitters, and underneath it, the green Myth sleeveless shirt I spotted at TJ Maxx. Both are cut in a relaxed, swingy silhouette with a high/low hem, buttons down the front, and a pointed collar. The only differences are the colors and the price point. Urban Outfitters still has the product for sale online, found here: Sparkle & Fade Sleeveless Chiffon Shirt.
Below is a photo of the orange Coincidence & Chance lace revel dress I purchased from Urban Outfitters, and underneath it, the ivory Monteau lace dress I spotted at TJ Maxx. Both are cut with a fitted bodice and full skirt, with sheer mesh accents at the shoulders, a chiffon lining, and a back zipper closure. The only differences are the colors and the price point. And, after checking Urban Outfitters online, they still have the produce for sale, even available in the same ivory color, found here: Coincidence & Chance Revel Dress.
Now, I might be guilty of a little purchasing of designer knockoffs, mostly jewelry and purses from downtown (please do not tell Karl!) but I am totally against this blatant copyright infringement. It might stem from the attorney in me, and it might just be that I like to encourage innovation. Designer brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton have a very recognizable symbol and status. The prestige of the company grows when more and more people can recognize their trademark symbols, such as the signature interlocking double-C for Chanel or the LV monogram for Louis Vuitton. Knockoffs of those trademarks then, do not diminish the actual product. In fact, some might argue that it makes the purchasing of the real items that much more illustrious. On the other hand, brands at Urban Outfitters, such as Sparkle & Fade or Coincidence & Chance, have no recognizable trademarks or known logos. They are simply designing the trends of the moment. For other smaller brands to knock them off just shows a lack of originality and creativity, and it diminishes the clothing lines at Urban Outfitters.
Now, there is nothing I can do about this, per se, but I hope that all of you fashionistas and trendologists take a moment on your next expeditions to the mall and make sure that you are not purposely purchasing a stolen idea -- its all about conscientious shopping :)