Gucci rips Dapper Dan, Kendall + Kylie infringe Tupac
A designer is to fashion, what an artist is to art–they bring to life their imaginative creations–slowly crafting them into reality. However, sometimes designers don’t solely rely upon their own creativity, they also seek inspiration from other sources. When creating a design inspired from another, one would think the process involves weeding out any obvious knockoffs, to avoid plagiarism. You’d think a talented designer should be capable of creating original work, so it’s astonishing that many resort to ‘borrowing’ the aesthetic of their contemporaries. But some push the boundaries, until the line is blurred, or shady at best.
This year has been plagued with fashion knockoffs and trademark infringement. The acts of plagiarism is blatant, and appears to be prevalent in the fashion industry amongst designers, brands, even celebrities. What’s more intriguing is when brands infringe upon their own trademarks. One such brand is Gucci, who during their Resort 2018 show featured designs with slogans reading ‘Guccy’, ‘Guccification’, and ‘Guccify Yourself’. These saying are what one would expect to see on a knockoff product made in China, not from the brand itself.
Gucci didn’t stop there–the luxury brand showcased looks that sneakily resembled hip-hop fashion legend Dapper Dan, whose success was essentially built on the unauthorized use of luxury logos, in the 80s. Despite the brands obvious tongue-in-cheek display of fashion spoofing, Gucci recently accused Forever 21 of trademark infringement regarding the use of “blue-red-blue” and “green-red-green” stripes on several products. Forever 21 has had a long-standing reputation of fashion plagiarism. Forever 21 responded to Gucci by filing a suit denying any infringement and opposing Gucci’s stripe trademarks.
But it’s not just brands going to battle, a few bands were up in arms too, when Kendall + Kylie released a line of t-shirts emblazoned with the image of iconic music artists such as Ozzy Osbourne, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., and Metallica. The t-shirt design featured images of the girls and their initials superimposed atop of copyrighted photos and logos of these music icons. Kendall and Kylie apologized and the shirts were pulled from production, but that hasn’t stopped the lawsuits. Reportedly, Tupac Shakur’s photographer is now suing the duo.
It should be noted that this isn’t Kylie’s first fashion controversy. She was previously accused of ripping off the designs of indie brands Cake Asia and Plugged NYC. Some may not consider Kendall and Kylie to be bonafide designers, but rather celeb-turned-designers. It might be argued that the Jenner sisters shouldn’t be expected to have original ideas, after all, they’re not actually designers.
So, where does inspiration end and plagiarism begin? Designers and celebrities shouldn’t steal from their peers, lesser known indie labels, or mammoth fashion houses–producing original work can be tough, but it is essential to maintaining professional integrity in the fashion industry.