I’m not always memorizing catwalk looks which I then identify in fast fashion stores. But when it does happen: identifying a catwalk ripoff, I feel strangely ambivalent about it.
On one hand, I think it’s terrible for the fashion designer, to have his or her work so blatantly copied and replicated with no credit due whatsoever. Not to mention royalties. But then again, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so… And then there’s another aspect of fast-fashion: not many customers are fully aware of what they’re buying as being a catwalk ripoff. They just pick it up from the hanger, at best try it on see if it fits and then just blindly wear it. Without thinking if it’s this or that season, this or that designer lookalike. Because, just like the name suggests it, they fast-buy fast-fashion which they fast-wear. There’s no ‘thinking’ about it. No time. It’s all fast.
But globally: how do we feel about catwalk translations into fast fashion? Take these examples I came across today. A $40 mesh dress replicating Celine here, a Kenzo tshirt there, a daring cutout Balenciaga top here replicated to the stitch. What about the principle of couture? The innovation of fashion? The democratization of design?
Do you feel your conscience heavier buying a $40 item that looks just like a $1,400 one (I’m only throwing numbers, I have no real idea about the price of that Celine mesh dress)? Do you think the designers should be reacting? Legally? Or should we do it first by simply not buying?
Let’s weigh in this ripoff issue, let it all out: I personally feel more inclined towards original labels, not towards the fast-fashion ones because I tend to consider my clothing under moral aspects as well as aesthetic and functional. But I admit I buy random basic clothing supplies from chains such as H&M or the Gap. Would I be willing to boycott them? I’m naturally inclined to rebel, so yes. How about you?