Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Pricey vs. Plagiarized: Between a rock and a hard place?

I'm a big advocate for identifying the styles that you love and then filling your closet with items to make that style a reality. Since I'm not in a position to buy everything I love from Shopbop, Net-a-Porter, or Revolve Clothing, I often look to these stores for inspiration then find alternatives whose prices I can actually afford.

However, lately I've been noticing that some of my 'alternative' options are just a little toooooo close to the pricey inspiration item to be coincidence. Having been in school for the vast majority of my life, it's been drilled into my head that plagiarism is badbadbad. So how do designers get away with it?  Let's take a look:
Pricey vs. Plagiarized: Hudson booties, Lauren Hope necklace, DV dress

In each of these examples, I love the pricey version more than the ripoff, but not enough that I'd be willing to pay the ticket prices for the items on the left. But should I really be giving my hard-earned cash to the companies on the right, whose items are easier to stomach from a cost perspective but whose ethics in blatantly copying designs make my stomach turn just as much as the pricetags on the left?

Interestingly, the dress on the left was designed by the same company as the boots on the right, so perhaps designers all just borrow from each other and call it a draw on the concept that borrowing is circular and what goes around comes around?

What would you do? Suck up the pricetag for the original designs out of respect for the designers' originality (and, likely, superior quality), or save some cash on a stolen design?


  1. Hi Meghan,
    When it comes to leather items, I much prefer saving up to get the real deal. I completely understand that it's not easy for many people to afford it, but I'd rather buy on pair a year than two, three or more. Plus, with all these sales sites nowadays, you can get some amazing bargains! Also, some may not realise it, but shoes handmade in Italy, Spain or Brazil (the top 3 of shoe-making countries IMO) are sometimes cheaper than the made-in-China ones found in chain stores.

  2. You bring up a good point/another angle to consider--are there certain items that you are willing to pay more money for as a rule? I agree with you, oftentimes buying the 'real deal' in shoes makes more sense financially in the long run, since you don't have to replace them as frequently and sometimes can just get nice shoes reheeled rather than buying a whole new pair of cheap shoes. Thanks for your thoughts!