Postscript: Copying In The Fashion Industry

Remember this post – Friend Friday: Copying In The Fashion Industry? Not even three weeks later I came across the ad above on the Fashion Foie Gras blog. Strange how it happens, no?

It got me thinking about the issue of copying and knock-offs in the fashion industry all over again.

To me, it seems to be a little heavy-handed on the part of Chanel. It is my belief that those who are able to afford “the real thing”, are unlikely to buy a “Chanel-inspired” jacket from the high street. Indeed, why would they want to?

But, nonetheless, if something is quite so iconic as Chanel and the Chanel style and brand, it is surely only natural that it will be used as a turn of phrase, n’est pas?

I decided to discuss this with the other bloggers who’d been involved in the original Friend Friday debate:

Many agreed with what I have already written above, however some came to the table with a different and thought-provoking angle.

One such opinion was voiced by Alli, of Mes Lunettes Folles, who explained; “with intellectual property disputes, it becomes harder and harder to defend your brand the more that you’ve allowed instances of it out in the market. If “Chanel” as a brand, becomes synonymous with a certain product (think, for example, of how we often use “Xerox” to refer to photocopies in general, or “Band-Aids” to describe bandages), then the name of the brand or the trademark becomes diluted to the point where prosecuting for misuse of the brand or trademarks becomes increasingly difficult.”

Another blogger pointed out that “flattery doesn’t make you money”. True. But I do believe that there are those of us – and I count myself in this – who cannot and never will be able to afford a Chanel jacket or bag or whatever but can buy into the hype of the brand through their perfumes and make-up and, of course, their nail polishes. It is a little off-putting to read this ad. Just saying.

What do you think of this thorny issue?


About sugarandspicesg

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6 Responses to Postscript: Copying In The Fashion Industry

  1. Veshoevius says:

    Well I'm with you on this one! I think this is such a snooty notice. Thier lawyers postively detest those "so Chanel!" references because there is probably nothing they can do about them.Flattery doesn't make you money – niether does pricing a jacket so that only an exclusive 5% of the world's population can afford it.

  2. I LOVE this ad! Not for any reasons of business or justice but because it is freakin hilarious.

  3. M says:

    That add is very funny and a little too much, I think Chanel is troubled when it comes to their image, they want you to buy their perfumes and makeup but they raise the price of their bags to make them more hard to get for the masses, while other brands do not need to resort to that and still have big mass appeal and a strongly aspirational image. xxMarielsCastle

  4. this chanel ad turns me off. i don't think it's funny nor do i think they are trying to be funny. i think they are taking themselves way, way too seriously by writing something like this.i understand what they are saying, but you can't control how people speak and think. there is no such thing as copyright on designs and clothing. it's actually a really good thing in the fashion industry. and cheaper brands can borrow inspiration from chanel all the want. if they say that something is chanel-inspired, that's because it just is. it comes with the territory of being such an iconic brand and to get their panties in a bunch over it is kind of silly. you are one hundred percent right – people who can afford chanel won't be buying knockoffs. chanel's target market does not shop in those places. as for diluting their brand, i don't really think it does. if anything, it makes their brand stronger that people can identify a knockoff as being "chanel-inspired." that means people are actually recognizing the chanel style and that's pretty sweet.this ad is uncouth and in my opinion does far more damage to the brand than any knockoffs ever could. chanel's image is the most important thing it has to offer – people associate it with a certain classiness and i don't think this ad is classy because it shows them getting all bothered over something they should be far above. at least, that's my take on it. =PVogue Gone Rogue

  5. Shopgirl says:

    Veshoevius: yes, I agree – snooty indeed. No, flattery doesn't make you money but the name is often something that people want to buy into and can in their cheaper lines (make-up etc) and this can be slightly off-putting for those people.Laura: yes, funny :)M: Exactly. (As above)Kristy: wow – thank you for the long comment 🙂 Yes, the lack of copyright in the fashion industry is certainly a good thing, as I believe it would stifle creativity.Thank you everyone who's commented 🙂

  6. LyddieGal says:

    That is certainly a very unfriendly memo to receive — and you are spot on with a brand name becoming so synonymous with a specific product that people refer to it as such. Is it really hurting these companies that people have traded off the actual word for their brand name? "excuse me, can someone offer the lawyers at Chanel a Kleenex?"And it is wrong for those of us who will NEVER have the means to get the real deal, to wish to be a part of their exclusive club and carry around pieces inspired by the look?Chic on the Cheap

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